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Just so no-one else asks, Essex University is in Colchester! Sorry - forgot to mention that one...
Don't get me wrong - I absolutely loved my 3 years at Essex, but some of the campus layout has a little to be desired! It is set out in squares (originally named Squares 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5), with Square 5 at the top, and each square a little lower that the last, until you get the Psychology department which, if anyone has seen From Dusk Till Dawn, looks much like the Titty Twister bar (from the back)!
My accomodation was in Bertrand Russell Tower, and I wouldn't have given it up for anything. Yes, it was slightly like a prison cell, but with 16 of you living together you had no choice but to get on. The kitchen was large, and had 2 ovens, 2 fridges, many cupboards (2 people had to share one, or more than one if you were first in line!), and a big table. The best feature of the kitchen was the fact that the window was along the whole length of the wall, and had a fixed bench in front of it, giving fabulous views... being on the 15th floor, we had slightly better views than someone on the first floor!
Other accomodation may suit other people better - I have seen inside of the South Court accomodation, and it is very nice. I would say that there is no community spirit in the South Courts at all, as there were only 6 or so people sharing a kitchen. The rooms were nicely decorated and each room has its own bathroom. A major drawback for students is that the accomodation is much more expensive than the towers! Lastly, all the accomodation has free internet access if you supply the computer...
It's easy to mix with other students by joining the clubs and societies, and also you get a mix of years in the tower accomodation. The bar certainly provides a good mixing ground for all those new friendships/relationships! The bar was just your basic student Union bar when I was at Essex, but in my last year, the upgraded it to a posh looking circular bar, with leather sofas! It now has plasma screens on the walls showing music videos, and also a touch screen jukebox system.
The restaurants on campus are pretty good (for student types!), providing sustinence when you need it. They have the blues bar, which is a coffee bar; they have the top bar with has a restaurant attached, selling allsorts, and they have SX express, which is a fast food place. I can recommed all 3, especially SX express lat at night!
If you want to do shopping, then unless it is urgent, don't shop in the campus shop! It is quite expensive, but does sell most things you might need - e.g. if you run out of milk, or fags, then it is the place for you. Otherwise, the best bet is to walk to Tesco (about a mile away) and get a bus (I think it is the 97 or 98) back to campus. They go pretty often, and aren't too expensive. Otherwise, it's easy to get a taxi, and not too hard on the pocket.
I studied Psychology at the uni, and the Psychology dept. is the most recent addition to the campus. It is a seperate building, and is shared by the Accounting dept. Good access to computers, and lots of labs to use for experiments on students... The only drawback was that it is in a slightly confusing layout, with strangely numbered floors and rooms. If you get lost, ask the secretaries - they are the best at helping out a lost student!
The whole university is a bit of a rabbit-run, so if you are prone to getting lost like I am, then you should carry a map with you for the whole of the firts term (or longer!), and then make sure you keep consulting the many floor maps on the walls! The security guys in the information office on Square 3 were always very helpful, and would escort anyone or give them directions if lost.
Just to make things harder, whoever numbered the rooms/labs/lecture halls on campus didn't do it in a very helpful manner. Rooms are numbered, for example, 5S.3.N etc. If you have a spare 30 mins, then I would recommend learning which number corresonds to the floor, and which to the room, so that you can find your way!
Last but not least is the Library. An excellent study resource, which is available on-line, they have any book you could possibly need for your essay, plus they have cool lift!
I have to say that although Essex University is made of concrete, it is an excellent university, and hasc come very high in the ratings. I think that many of the seperate depts. have also come top in some cases. So, all in all I would reccomend Essex University to anyone who was looking for a fun, vibrant, seat of learning, and to anyone who just wants a good laugh alongside their degree!
The Bertrand Russell tower - how apt! Sounds good - I'm from Essex myself and have friends there who love it. Em x
ariadne 21.05.2003 11:46
Well, I would expect the campus shop to be the cheap option rather than having to leg it to the 'real' shops for top up groceries. Also, the room/building/campus layout and names sound really confusing! Still, if you managed 3 years there then it can't be that bad! :)
redpen 21.05.2003 00:26
Really great op, it's good to get some personal experience. Uni were the best years of my life, I had a complete riot without any responsibility!! (I sound so old saying that!!) Make sure you enjoy every moment! - Harvey