With the start of the new session came the long awaited move to waterside. It was to be the meet to all our learning expectations- from state of the art lecture solutions, to equipment and even ambience. It also promised to be a grand site in terms of space and facilities.
We made our way to the new parking facility in town. I could not help but notice the ease of transferring from my vehicle into the park and ride bus. It was an amazingly well thought out arrangement by the university. The bus stop shared the same fence as the parking lot. That reduced the bus-catching anxiety I had been experiencing during the summer holidays each time I thought about waterside.
Once at uni, the wifi initially seemed to have a mind of its own. New site hiccups! Some of the equipment in the lecture halls had not been completely set up. I felt like I was part of the new university history that was unfolding. It was nice to witness when some of the lecturers tore off the plastic from the brand new white boards in the classrooms. We all sat in silence like children waiting for lollies to be distributed.
Each floor in our building, The learning hub, belonged to various faculties, all the different floors had their own libraries and lecture halls. So no longer did we have to go to the library, the library had come to us! It was such a clever and more convenient solution to borrowing books. Waterside was exciting.
Then came the turn of our lecturers. They appeared curious about how to weigh our expectations because they kept asking us what we thought about the new campus?
So here is my answer…
In just a few words, I can only describe it as breath taking.
But why use a few words to describe such a masterpiece?
To find such beauty interwoven within a busy bustling town centre filled with various attractions is unbelievable.
I decided to explore the campus and ventured out on foot. During the walk I witnessed the natural artistry provided by the proximity of the school to the popular river Nene. Splashes of colours were provided by the greens trees, grasses, grey stones, droopy trees that touch the lake surrounding the school ever caressingly. It evoked an ecstatic feeling within me of being lost in the beauty of nature.
I walked past another view of the university as I entered from the lock where I witnessed architectural grandeur and craftsmanship. A solid wood-like bridge took me through different shades of green and brown coloured leaves accented by a touch of the autumn. Although, I was walking across it with my own two feet, the refreshing feeling of being amidst nature made me feel like I was sailing across river Nene with the bridge as a sort of immobile mode of transport. The breeze on my skin, refreshed my endless walk around the new campus as i explored the views on display.
The buildings towered around delicately all fitting into the jigsaw puzzle of serenity that the school had so painstakingly designed. There were the creative and learning hubs all towering above. They had a classy business like feel that reminded one of their rightful place within the campus as hubs that would warehouse lots of faculties and departments. With time, no longer would university of Northampton be a school of many campuses because finally most departments were to coexist alongside one another in the new campus. There were also shops, a post office, coffee bars and little pockets of relaxation spread around the buildings to keep students refreshed in different ways.
The ambience and calm as one walked around proposed a lot of support for learning, assimilation and reflection. Things advertised by the university as what waterside was all about.
At the end of my walk, I reconsidered my initial reservations about the omission of the car park from the new campus. What my leisurely walk had revealed to me was the wisdom in that decision by the university.
Within the first week of resumption, I felt like I had walked more than I had managed to do in the past couple of months. That was definitely good for me.
I also discovered that the commute by bus from the well designed free car parking had enabled me take in the beautiful city of Northampton where I had been learning for the past year and never even had the time to explore.
I have now finally seen the rich town whose beauty testifies to its age, culture and history.
Thank you for reading
You can click here to see my views about the university on BBC Look east England.
Read the article on the university website