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My first term at uni: Dan's photo diary

With his freshers' term at uni drawing to a close, we caught up with Teesside University student Dan, who took us through some snaps of his first few months...

My new home

Dan's first term diary - accommodation

I'm all settled in and Middlesbrough feels like home. 

I live with some really nice people and it's so close to everything: the Student Union is over the road, the city centre is about a 10 minute walk away, the train station is another five minutes on top of that. It's great for lazy-me.

I like my room. It's a little cosy but I hardly need a lot of space, apart from headroom. The fun of being over 6ft tall…

One problem about being on the ground floor is that whenever I have my blinds open, I have no privacy. It's not too much of a problem now during the winter; however I imagine it will annoy me more when summer comes around and it's sunny (although being up north, does it even get sunny?).

The nightlife 

Dan's first term diary - nightlife

The nightlife is pretty good here. There's a range of clubs to choose from and the Union always has really good events on. 

During freshers' week, we had Basshunter come and play us a set. Just a few weeks ago we had Cascada. It may sound cheesy, but it was really cool listening to these songs live that were popular when I was in middle school, and seeing how much people still love them. Surprisingly I remembered more songs than I thought!



Watch now: How I met my best mate at uni


Looking after myself

Dan's first term diary - cooking

I'm surprisingly good at cooking. I haven't given myself food poisoning yet and the food I'm making is actually edible (apart from the rice I burnt - why didn't I just buy the microwaveable packs?).

The best meal I've made so far was chilli con carne. Luckily I made enough for three nights so I didn't have to worry about what I was going to eat for the next few days - it's a good job it was tasty!

I've also had the chance to try the local cuisine, namely Chicken Parmo. If you don’t know what it is, it's a chicken escalope, topped with béchamel sauce and cheese. It's amazing and my culinary world has been opened.

Liking Dan's pics? Revisit his uni countdown photo diary (featuring his dog, Charlie)...

The work

Dan's first term diary - workload

It feels good to be back learning [after the summer] and doing something creative. Even the theory module interests me. My tutor always apologises for just talking at us for a couple of hours but being new to graphic design, I find it all interesting.

The workload is rather large and a little stressful, but it's enjoyable and it's all skills I'm going to need. I'm looking forward to the next three years studying here.

A face from home

Dan's first term diary - a visit from my brother

After the first few weeks, I really started to notice how far away from home I was and began to miss it. My brother came to visit about a month after I moved and we explored Middlesbrough. We found a few streets filled with some really cool-looking micropubs and amazing restaurants (some of which I have yet to try).

It completely took my mind away from missing home and made me realise I could really stay here.

Succumbing to germs

Dan's first term diary - Freshers' Flu

Freshers' Flu hit me hard. I hardly left my room for nearly a week. Luckily one of my flatmates stocked up on cold and flu remedies before coming here.

It's really hard trying to do everything for yourself when you feel that rough. Every couple of days my washing-up pile got too big to leave, so I couldn't put it off anymore. I don't like washing up when I'm well, so it felt like a real task.

Luckily I was soon on the mend and back to normal.

Course trip

Dan's first term diary - Course trip

These stairs are in the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle. We went on a trip to the Northern Design Festival and had some time to look around a few exhibitions in the city. My fear of heights really set in on these stairs!

This was during the first few weeks of the course and it was amazing to see the quality and variety of designers' work. It was cool seeing Pixies' new album cover at the festival, especially as music artwork is an area I would like to get into.

Getting around

Dan's first term diary - getting around and going home

It's weird, nothing makes me feel more grown-up than travelling by myself on a train even though now I'm doing everything for myself. 

I suppose trains will be my life now if I want to see family or friends back home. I like travelling on the train but it's too expensive. Even with my railcard it costs me over £80 to get home and back to Middlesbrough. However, this is without booking specific trains, so that's definitely something I’ll have to look into.


Dan FrenchAbout Dan

Dan is an aspiring graphic designer. He's currently in his first year studying graphic design at Teesside University. In his spare time, he likes drawing and going to festivals.

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