19/01/2016, by CLAS

“Work hard, play hard”: First Year at Nottingham



“Work hard, play hard.” Never has that old motto been more appropriate than for the first year of studying at the University of Nottingham. Although first year doesn’t count towards your final degree result, it is important to do as well as you can and make sure you give yourself a good platform for the years ahead, particularly for the Year Abroad, when hard work on your language skills in the first two years really shows. It is true that first year can be a stressful time, but if you work hard and make the most out of the support available at the university, both from your course mates and lecturers, there is no reason at all to worry.

It is also important to take advantage of the numerous extra-curricular societies and sports available to you. There are societies for getting to know your course mates in a more relaxed atmosphere (such as French and German society), for furthering your political engagement, or indeed for continuing or starting a new hobby. One of the best things I did in my first year was joining the Latin, Ballroom and Salsa society; I’d never had any experience of dancing before, but it was a great way to get some exercise, meet new friends and add another string to my bow. Now I’m addicted and dance competitively on a regular basis! Try and give something a go that you never would have expected to enjoy and you may well end up being surprised!


Make sure you explore the diverse and exciting city of Nottingham too, with its plentiful restaurants, entertainment and shopping opportunities. If you are a sports fan, then a trip to a football match (both Nottingham Forest and Notts County’s grounds are located a ten-minute walk from the city centre) or the ice hockey – Nottingham Panthers being one of the best professional teams in the country – is definitely worth it. And Nottingham’s night life must not be missed – whether you prefer a relaxed night in the pub, a classy cocktail bar or a crazy Friday night out in Ocean, there really is something for everyone.

Just enjoy it – you only get one fresher’s year!

Martyn Gray, Translation Studies, 1st year; chief editor of the University of Nottingham’s student-led French magazine, Pamplemousse.


And for more information about Pamplemousse:
Pamplemousse was set up in 2014 and we have already printed two editions of the magazine, which students can see around the Trent Building and in the Hallward Library. We also have a website to which we upload all of our articles: https://uonpamplemousse.wordpress.com.
We are once more hoping to print two or three editions this academic year and would love input from students in the French department. What do you get from this? Not only does the magazine provide you with an opportunity to improve your French in a relaxed atmosphere (we can also provide you with feedback on your article if you’d like) and have your work published, but it looks fantastic on your CV, showing commitment to go above and beyond your studies!

Posted in French and Francophone Studies