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First-year student diary

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New veterinary student Rosie Perrett has been in Liverpool for a week; she already feels involved in university life and has quickly discovered that vet students are very sociable.

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The journey to Liverpool from Dorset took roughly five hours, with very limited room left in the car by the time I had crammed in every last thing I could possibly want or need. The students we met on arrival were very welcoming and, for me, it was unusual to be going into catered halls after living in a student house for the past two years. My anxiety about making new friends and enjoying the first year of university life quickly evaporated as, by dinner time, I had met other friendly students in my halls, including another vet student.

I've found that vet students are a sociable bunch; before I had been in Liverpool 24 hours, the majority of first-year ‘vets’ gathered for the first time at a local park for a picnic. This provided the opportunity to meet others and find out about their similar and competitive paths that meant we were now sitting in the park as vet students.

Freshers' week included numerous talks from lecturers, the vet society president, and from the mature students' society, because, apparently, being 21 qualifies you as mature. I don't know about anybody else, but I don't yet feel old enough to hold that title! It did, however, give me an opportunity to meet other second-degree vet students who had gone through the same process I had, and there are a considerable number, compared with the two or three I was expecting.

The talk by the university's veterinary society president introduced us to the various organisations, including the Association of Veterinary Students (AVS). The veterinary society works in conjunction with charities providing the opportunity to work and gain experience outside of our studies. After our talk we were taken on a tour around the university. I'll say now, I won't remember half the places we were shown; it just seems so big compared with the countryside that I come from. The original veterinary school has been moved, and while there is now a brand new accommodation block, many of the lectures are scattered around the campus and our practicals and labs are in the new vet school on the north campus that I have yet to see.

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Towards the end of the week, the brand new refurbished Liverpool guild held the Freshers Fayre giving students a chance to sign up to pretty much anything. Despite the fact I knew I would have very little free time with a full-time packed course, I signed up to far too much. I'm still determined to have a go at each one, because I find that if I work continually I go a tad crazy – it is important for me to achieve a balance between the academic side as well as my musical and equestrian interests.

As first impressions go, it couldn't have gone any better and I'm ready to start working towards my lifetime goal.

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