Siobhan – my first day at Durham

Siobhan Gardiner

When I arrived in Durham on the 30th of September 2018, there was no way I could’ve predicted what lay ahead of me. A degree change, a global pandemic and two extra years to finish my undergrad were nowhere on my peripheral – but even if it was, I’m not sure it would’ve changed how my first day went at all!

Arriving bright, early and anxious with my parents after spending a night in Darlington due to driving up from Essex, I was overjoyed to find out I was in Hild – the main (and prettiest!) building in Hild Bede. My room, albeit small, was tucked away in the eaves of the building, with a stunning view out onto the grounds. Of course, the most important task was making it look more homely with pictures, fairy lights and my own bits and bobs from home. Before I knew it, my room looked like it could belong to me and with all the cosy touches the anxiety started to ebb away from me, even as it came time to say goodbye to my parents for their long journey back home

Luckily for me, I wasn’t alone for very long. At the lunch to meet our mentors, I met another girl from along my corridor and we stuck together for the rest of freshers week, which later led to moving into the same house in the second year after getting (college) married! This paired with taking my mum’s advice of keeping my door propped open to meet new people, meant my room was soon filled with people. Together, the group went to dinner and the evening’s entertainment of inflatables and carnival games and before I knew it, it felt like I had met these people much longer ago than that morning. As the evening drew to a close, we ended up in another friend’s room, chatting about where we’d come from, what we were studying and really anything about ourselves at all. Although I had no idea how turbulent my university degree would end up being, the worries about arriving were long gone and my long term love affair with Durham had already begun.

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Siobhan Gardiner

Hi! I’m Siobhan, a finalist studying Management and Marketing student at Hild Bede. In my time at Durham, I've taken part in Durham Student Theatre and Durham University Blood Donation Society whilst also enjoying being part of my college cheer and dance teams.

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