Navigating UEA’s concrete jungle – a how to

I was in your situation one year ago, a new face to UEA. I was excited, but mostly terrified. Now I look back, everyone was in the same situation. I remember continuously searching up advice before I started university, so here’s some for you, freshers.

Meeting new people… 

My biggest fear before starting university was that I wouldn’t make any new friends because of how shy I am. Although I’m usually too reserved to start a conversation, being put into a situation where nobody knew each other made me more confident and outgoing.

There will be flat parties and social events happening during Freshers so you’ll meet a lot of new people there. I know meeting people can be daunting but don’t worry, I can guarantee you’ll find people you love spending time with.

Lowdown on the LCR…

Ahh, the LCR; cheap drinks and entry fees. It’s a great place for a good night, especially Tuesday and Saturday nights. 2 VKs for £4 – a bargain. If you get tired of the main dance-floor, there’s always the Blue bar downstairs (and try not to fall down the stairs). Beware that you might be breathalysed at the main-door if the security guards think you’ve drunk too much.

The best thing about the LCR is that you can literally roll home afterwards. You might get tired of the repetitive music halfway through the year but if you drink a bit more, you don’t really notice…

Staircases from hell…

The Staircases from hell, or better known as the Ziggurat stairs, are lethal. For some reason, our university thought it would be a good idea to build steep staircases that go straight down for five floors. In short, people fall down and injure themselves. Luckily, I never had to experience that, but then again, I always gripped onto the handrail as if was my life-line (even when I was sober). Combatting them when you’ve had more than one snakebite is a challenge for only the strongest among us. Save yourself, use the ground entrance.

Navigating campus…

UEA’s campus is quite small compared to other universities, and is relatively easy to get around. There are many maps posted around campus, as well as signposts. Your schedule will tell you which room you’re in, usually in acronym form which can be deciphered with the ‘UEA Acronyms’ Portal page.


Prepare yourself for long waits and bouts of frustration. During my time as a first year, the best time to do laundry was either early in the morning or late afternoon (around 5pm). There will be people who don’t arrive to take out the laundry for hours, and it’s absolutely acceptable to dump their clothes on the wall if they don’t arrive after 20 minutes.

There will be people who use multiple machines at the same time and even worse, there will be people who use the same machine again even though they know people are waiting. That’s just how it is, it’s survival of the fittest.

Sunny days…

On the extremely rare occasion that it’s sunny, a great way to spend the day is by the Ziggurats. There’s a ton of open space for people to have a barbecue or play frisbee. The SU shop sells disposable barbecues, and the bar offers a jug of Pimms for £12 which is great to share on a hot day.

Enjoy it! 

I had an amazing time during my first year at UEA, I met some amazing people and being away from home allowed for self-growth. An important lesson I’ve learnt from being at university is that nobody will judge you like at school.

You can be yourself without fear of isolation because there are so many types of people at UEA, it’s unlikely you won’t meet people like you. So enjoy your first year, and make lots of happy memories!


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May 2022
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

If you would like to get in touch, email the Editor on L.Hargreaves@uea.ac.uk. Follow us at @ConcreteUEA.