I have, ladies and gentlemen, survived my first night in London. Moved in to Connaught Hall yesterday evening after visiting my mom’s friend Jacqui near Victoria Station. I do have some previous experience with hall life from Beijing, but at that time I was the only white person in a block of Indonesians and Koreans who didn’t speak a word of English. This time I can actually communicate with people, and I think it will be a lot easier for me to settle in and and feel at home. What to say about life in a student hall so far? Everyone is super social, and the bathrooms are surprisingly clean! My room is small, mouldy and drafty – but I love it anyway because it is MINE, and it is in central London. Despite being desperate for bed after unpacking, I did take the time to put up some pictures and posters to make it more homely, and I had lots of fun deciding what went where.
Welcome to my humble (literally) abode:
I would not say that I am not a social person – I am. However, I am quite a private person that likes being on my own a lot. (Think it comes from me being an only child). However, if there is one thing I learnt in China about the process of adapting – sitting around in your room all the time isn’t going to help you one bit. No matter how homesick you are (and I am!), things will not get any better unless you accept the fact that you have a new home and a new life that you have got to make the best of. Going down to the breakfast hall alone today was super scary, but I decided I had to drag myself down to the lion’s den and face the truth. Started chatting to some random girl in the breakfast queue, and ended up sitting with her and a Chinese girl who was to study in Bristol. Later some other people joined – amongst them a part Swedish girl who knew a bit of Swedish and told me Norwegian sounded really happy. (Everyone says that, I don’t get it!). Breakfast turned out to be really cosy and fun, contradicting all the pictures I had in my head of me sitting alone. When I was 15-16, I would never have been so presumptuous as to ask someone if I could sit down with them. It is fun to observe myself and how I have grown in confidence over the years, realizing that “Hey, I am actually quite a nice person – why shouldn’t they want to sit with me?”.
Now I am gonna wait around for my dad to wake up (he is staying at Jacqui’s place, and is probably having a mild hangover after all the beer and wine he was served yesterday), and then we will be off to Tottenham Court Road to buy a printer and a British sim card.
Tomorrow the International Student’s Orientation Programme starts, and I can’t wait for term to start so I can meet up with all my fellow History of Art students!