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Money. A word that can initiate anxiety attacks, instill envy, embed pride or spur great motivation. Sometimes all at once. Soon after arriving in Cirencester the anxiety aspect of money would have been most relevant to me. The RAU is an expensive place to study. If you disagree then you either locked yourself in a bedroom and wasted your time here or else you have a great abundance of money and these thousands went unnoticed.

In the first term I was taking every opportunity to socialise that was possible. At the RAU this isn’t always your run-of-the-mill pres before a nightclub. This comprises of attending balls, drinking in cocktail bars and attending sporting events, such as horse-racing (the RAU is just half an hour from Cheltenham racecourse). As you can imagine, hard earned savings don’t survive long in the battle against this social life. It was time to get a job.

Logically, I went for the first place with a sign up looking for employees, the only nightclub in Cirencester, Reva (previously the Rock). I got the job there and then. I would work as a barmaid on Saturday nights and one night during the week. With pay of just £6 an hour, i wasn’t going to become a millionaire anytime soon. However, it was a start. The next steps were to get a National Insurance (NI) number and to set up a British bank account.

This sounds easy… not so easy without a car. It was time to figure out Cirencester’s public transport. I organised an appointment to get a NI number and had to go to the employment office in Swindon for an interview to get this. I left my halls at uni walking into town to catch the bus from Cirencester to Swindon. I was not prepared for rain. All of a sudden the heavens opened. I had no time to turn back and so had to run through this lashing rain in order to catch the bus. I got some weird looks.

I arrived in Swindon, after getting lost numerous times (Google Maps wouldn’t work with my Irish sim card). I made it to the employment office half an hour late, soaking wet. Luckily, an employee felt sorry for me and took me in for an interview. These seem like such simple things, but when you are away from home and don’t have the resources you are used to (car and working phone!) your life becomes one hell of a lot more difficult!

I started working at Reva the next day. Freshly showered and dry I was ready for my first shift! I worked from 10 pm until 5/5.30 am (exhausting!). It was hard work, making it through the night and learning how to work behind a bar, but I did actually enjoy it. I like to keep busy and this definitely helped me through my first year of university. It helped me to work efficiently under pressure, work in a different work place and deal with customers, particularly the angry drunk ones!