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Phoebe Coleman


  • Student Journal
  • |
  • Visual Communication


We asked her to document her experience of moving away from the big, busy city to the sunny, south coast. Here’s her journey…


I travelled to Bournemouth from Manchester, which took around six hours in total. I stayed with my parents in a caravan park near Christchurch for a week before I moved in which made the ‘moving in’ process so much easier as we were a lot closer to Uni. When we got to Madeira Road Halls, we unloaded all my things then headed to get some lunch and do a food shop for the basics (making the most of scrounging off my parents before I had to start buying things for myself).

Then the time came when the parking timed out and my parents had to go. My parents leaving was definitely emotional, but for me, my homesickness kicked in around a month later when I started to notice the daily little things that I missed about my hometown (freshers’ flu really didn’t help either since there was nobody to look after me and I was feeling sorry for myself!). Once my parents left, I went to my room and let it settle in that this was really the start of me being totally independent!


Moving into Halls was so fun, as I got my new key card and keys (to my own bit of rented property!) and I started to unpack my things and make the space my own. The main things I forgot to pack were hangers, all my clothes were sitting in bags for a few days before I went to Wilko to pick some up. I also forgot to pack cleaning products like bleach and washing up gloves. There’s a Co-op a few minutes’ walk from Halls (the bus stop for Uni is right next to that too), an Asda across the road from Skyline and a Wilko and Lidl in the town centre.


For the first two weeks of Uni, the Unibus was free (one week for AUB starting and another week for BU starting – such a result!). The first day was manic, it was really busy with everyone in my year there on the same day, plus there were extravagant freshers stalls and groups being taken on course talks and tours around the campus. I made some new friends from my course and we worked our way around the stalls (I have NEVER filled out so many sign-up forms in my life!) picking up lots of freebies and discount codes for local businesses and websites. I also went to the courtyard to find out about the amazing societies AUBSU has and to see how I could get involved.


The first three weeks of Uni had so much going on, with the Soft Touch week before Uni and events arranged for the first two weeks like a Pub Quiz, Open Mic night and a trip to the Jurassic Coast! For the first few weeks there were company pop-ups giving out free drinks/snacks too, as well as societies with stalls like The Small Things Matter!

I attended a taster session for RAG (raising and giving), Green and Volunteering societies which were really fun! I met new people from different courses and years, in a relaxed and creative environment. I also signed up to Level Up which allows me to log volunteering hours and gain rewards I can put onto my CV. Since becoming involved with the societies, I have become the Vice President of RAG.


As cliché as it sounds, my favourite part of Bournemouth is definitely the beach. As I moved into halls with a few weeks to spare before everything properly kicked off, the beach was the perfect place to meet up with people I had met around halls. Now that the Summer holidays are over, and the town has become less busy, I can check the sunset times after Uni and walk down to watch the dusk at the beach. Also, at the end of most nights out a stumble down to the beach with friends is tradition! There are also loads of places to visit near the town like Poole, Harry Rocks and the New Forest are a short bus/car ride away, as well as Russell Cotes gallery. There are also three Wetherspoons within a 15-minute walk from Madeira which is ideal!

Since I moved in as soon as my tenancy started, there were still some nearby events going on in the town, like the Air Show and Friday Firework displays on the beach – perfect for visiting with friends I had made!


Our course studios are great. Vis Com has a big room with great lighting where we have all our tutorials and lectures, as well as rooms with PCs and Apple Macs on the same floor which we can pretty much use whenever we need them. We can also use the print rooms to learn new techniques and create work, as well as a system called SiSo which allows us to rent out cameras and book workshops.

The overall campus has blown me away too! I knew about the amazing library, MoDiP, the Arts Bar, drawing studio and the Gallery; but being on campus and actually using all of these spaces makes me feel so lucky to be studying at such an incredible and creative University!


Before I started my course, I was asked to create a Summer project to tell my class a bit about myself and why I chose to study the course. I had the option to create this digitally or on paper (or both) and I chose to make a papier mâché vase to answer the questions since I admire the works of Grayson Perry.

When I came to present my project to the class in my second week, I felt so nervous! I could see how well the people that went before me had done, seeing their amazing projects and finding out how interesting they are – I was so anxious when I stood up to do my own. My presentation could have gone a lot better, but I’m happy with how I did, considering how worked up I was! Now I’ve got to know the people and tutors on my course, I know that I really had nothing to worry about since we are all there to support each other.

Something to think about

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