Day 1 | University Early Bird

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I’m not sure how often I’ll blog about my experience, but it’s worth noting how I feel in the hope that someone may find my future advice worthwhile. I also hope my little adventures will end up as random vlogs on my rather dead channel, HarlequinDays, or Sylva Calaelen (according to Google). At the moment this post is just a list of stuff I did, in order to remember. After a week I should be able to go into more details – on my other blog. Today is Day 4, and I am sitting here with a terrible headache, due to waking up too early.

Day 1

Friday 20th September

Arrived, safe and well. My mum, aunt and younger siblings came with me, but before any of the help got into action my aunt decided to start screaming for no reason (actually she kept knocking on all the wrong doors, and blamed me). Mum, whom I inherit my anxiety from, kept panicking over little things. First it was my new storage boxes, “What are you putting in these?!” Then it was the mattress on the bed, “Clean it with your wipes! It’s so small… oh dear… So small!”, at which point I had to remind her it was a single bed, but alas she was worried about when I have a guest to stay at weekend. “How is he going to fit? You said he was tall!” she yelped about 15 times, all whilst ripping off plastic and sorting my beauty supplies, and shouting for the babes to stop play fighting. I just went quiet – I’m telling you, if I could show you all how red my face felt at that moment… Then, without pause she swiftly moved onto the next small issue; hangers.

Within two hours I was unpacked, and only had a few items to store away. I had Hamlet playing on the TV to keep the children quiet, and they seemed to quite like it. I also noticed mum leaning on the windowsill trying hard to understand Shakespearian language (modern English folks, without the modern slang). This meant I could connect machines and have one ear free for my aunt to continue moaning about old age stuff. Halfway through Act 1 Scene 3 (when Laertes and Ophelia are having their lovely familial chat and gossiping session, before Daddy returns to make everything super awkward) it was time for them all to leave. Note, up until this point in my new chapter I hadn’t felt a thing. Not much excitement. I gave them small awkward cuddles, but saved the best hugs for my younger siblings – still, nothing. Mum couldn’t stop hugging me, which was strange because for anyone who knew us they know we don’t do hugs, let alone show affection to one another. I’m her servant when she needs one, and she’s just my anxiety inducing trigger.

I made sure to find the local corner shop, which is actually attached to my halls of residence. I also made note of a taxi numbers, and the location of shopping centres I may need on Google Maps. I pulled out my reading list for the first term and remembered I still had quite a few titles to get a hold of. If any of you have a Waterstones shop near you, make sure to reserve books online! Most shops do click ‘n reserve anyway, but believe me it saves you the hassle when you’re away in a new place. I put on season three of ‘Boardwalk Empire’, cooked up some mini pizzas and took my multivitamins. It was getting quiet. I live in a flat with four other girls and all we share is the kitchen and living room. That day, it was just me and one other girl.

I had too much stuff! Loads of cleaning products – bleach etc. Tons of loo roll, toothpaste, kitchen towels, plastic bags, sheets etc to last me a year – or the aftermath of a random nuclear war. I made sure to get everything I needed in bulk before arriving, to save me the hassle of buying them in smaller quantities for more money. I’m going to be broke, but for a reason this time. Later on, after watching the super-hot gangster Gyp Rosetti use a barmaid to shield himself from shots being fired (naked), there was a knock at my door. When I opened it, there stood a rather fashionable creature with big bold eyes. With a nervous and timid voice she told me, “I’m going back home, but I’ll be back on Sunday. Nice to meet you by the way.” Just like that, she vanished through the crack in the door. I looked around the corridor and then the sinking feeling sank in – I was alone. On my own. Oh my Buddha…

I sat on my bed and continued to watch gangsters kill each other, and smiled at the lovely Mr Sleater every time he appeared on screen (He looks like Mr Vamp, a little, for those of you demanding to know what he looks like, and he sounds the same). I just preoccupied myself by reading one of the titles I’m supposed to study, and talking to Mr Vamp. The initial fears of talking to other students kept me in my room for another 24 hours. I just studied, did my rituals and talked with Mr Vamp. I set up the simplest Thelemic altar I could find space for, and then I felt fine. I was settling in a little bit, and that was enough to fall asleep.


Tips I Value So Far:

  • Reserve stuff online to pick up during Fresher’s Week.
  • Get tickets and be prepared to meet other nervous people.
  • There is nothing wrong with bringing 50 toilet rolls.
  • Make sure to try and have one or two coloured collections of clothing and bedding so you don’t have to pay too much for laundry.
  • Look up places you’ll need to visit on a map of some kind, like shopping centres/individual shops, places to eat, food superstores and make note of the entire campus and the location of the SU Bar. Luckily for us, most universities use social networks so the university reps will be able to help you out on closed groups, or official pages.
  • EVERYONE IS NERVOUS; though some have friends or family attending the same university as you, so they may not hang out with you. Just take a deep breath and jump.


Thanks! Day 2 and 3 will come tomorrow!


Author: Sy Calaelen

Sy Calaelen is a British writer, blogger and Youtube vlogger, though she isn't filming at the moment. English literature graduate. Both sites will focus on literary reviews, book lists, comic books and nerd chat, writing and novel tips, and discussions in magick, paganism and the occult. A mixture of everything from her. Reach out on social media from Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, GoodReads, and Pinterest.

One thought on “Day 1 | University Early Bird

  1. I have PTSD, so I can relate to the anxiety. Your mom sounds like my dad. He’s a nervous wreck every time he leaves the house. Also, affection isn’t something that’s shown much in my family either. Could it be related to anxiety?

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