A couple of months ago we had our Summer Schools, which are a culmination of the projects that are run throughout the year, and they are so much fun! In the first week we had the Discovery and the Confident Futures’ Summer Schools. They each last two days and 1 night, and are jam-packed full of activities and university style shenanigans.
It is really nice working on the summer schools because you get to see everyone from the projects again and meet loads of new people. We stay in university residences to get a taste of university life. This time we stayed in University Halls which are still in Cathays, but a bit further away from the university buildings. However, they’re really nice because they have a big social centre where everyone can hang out from all the different flats, and each flat has a really big kitchen which helps when it comes to everyone cooking dinner at the same time!
As the summer schools are supposed to be a bit like what university life would be like, we do various academic sessions for each group. This year for Discovery, we went to the Physics building to do an Astrophysics sessions and to Computer Science. In the Astrophysics session we each got a star and had to place it on a Herstzprung-Russell Diagram (I know what that is thanks to my IB Physics!). We also played galaxy bingo, which was lots of fun, but I lost terribly. And then for Computer Science we did some experiments with Raspberry Pi, which I had absolutely no clue about, but everyone else seemed to enjoy a lot! And for Confident Futures we went to Psychology to do brain games and get a tour of the brand new CUBRIC building – which was opened by the Queen a few weeks before summer schools began! And to Chemistry – where we had to use science to work out how someone had been murdered!
Both groups also got a trip to Cardiff Museum to see the dinosaur which has just been found in Barry! That session was much more up my street as it involved History and Archaeology!
Besides studying, the other main activity that occupies students is eating. So to recreate that, each flat gets a budget for the few days to make dinner and breakfast, and buy lunch in town. I have to say our flat did very well and made an excellent stir fry, which even had chicken in it – and no one got food poisoning, and it was very tasty! Cooking group meals at university is a cheap way of eating, and socialising. Basic ingredients are usually inexpensive and can be split multiple ways.
In my first and second year we would all teamup and take it turns to cook a meal for the flat. This worked out great for everyone – some people loved cooking so they liked doing the big meals; others liked not having the hassle of having to cook for themselves every night, and everyone liked how cheap it worked out! Plus, it meant we all got to hang out together at dinner times and have a bit of a laugh! We all had quite different schedules in those days, so meeting up for food was a perfect way to meet up and chill out.