Monday, 5 September 2011

September 5th 2011

The first day of my new college life is over. Technically, of course, it’s not; this is the Freshers Week, full of tours and presentations and explanations (and one maths exam, tomorrow), so the first proper day of classes will be next Monday. Warsash seems a nice place, we have most of the things we need here and there are few distractions – a gym, a small bar – so it’ll be easy to get my head stuck into studying and assignments and the work I should be doing. I’m nearly 26 and I’ve done the Uni thing, so I don’t feel pressure to be out drinking most nights and all the other things that the kiddies do. On one hand this is great for the aforementioned actual work; on the other it feels a bit isolating, at least at the moment. I’ve got no desire to get drunk or rush around giggling or get up to mischief. I just want a nice quiet place to get my qualifications. Student halls might not be the best place for that – and although Merchant Navy cadets are by nature slightly more staid and appropriate than normal students (we are employees, after all), and they all appear perfectly lovely at this point, I’m fairly certain I won’t want to live with loads of them in the next phase.

For those to whom I haven’t properly explained what the process is, I’m being sponsored by Maersk to study here at Warsash Maritime Academy near Southampton for the first phase of my Deck Cadet training. It lasts a term. From January until next September, I’ll be in a sea phase, so I’ll be assigned to a ship and will do practical training onboard. This cycle repeats itself until three years have passed, and I’ll have gained the right qualifications and enough sea time to get a proper role onboard a seagoing vessel (or a shore based job, if I’d prefer to apply for something on land).

As I explained on Twitter earlier, my room and its posterboard are looking quite sparse and unloved. I came straight from my job on a canal boat to here by public transport so there wasn’t the time or space to gather favourite photos and things. My parents are visiting me this weekend to bring some extra belongings but if you have the inclination to write or draw me something I can put on my wall... I’d bloody love that. Send me a message and I can give you an address.

Like I said, we have a maths exam in the morning, so I’m now going to go and revise. It’s strange coming from my rigidly-structured summer job to being a “normal” person again and having to arrange my own time. Strange but nice.

I’m going to try to blog every day about the things I’m learning and doing – I assume most days will be more eventful than filling in enrolments forms. So: More tomorrow!

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