Being a new student in a new city is overwhelming – and especially being a foreign student in a new city. There is so much paperwork, so many formalities, so many new people, so many events and party invitations – everything is just a blur, and honestly I haven’t had the time to be homesick at all. (Which is great mind you!). In order not to break completely down due to stress and overexcitement, I, which is very contradictory to my nature, have decided to go with the flow and do one thing at a time. I know I need washing powder and shoes for the Freshers’ Ball, I know I want to go to all of London’s major attractions – but first of all I need to get the formalities done, and that is what I concentrated on today, as all the international students formally enrolled to the University College London. Valérie (my dear corridor friend and fellow Pride & Prejudice fan) and I went together to our schedueled enrolment at 9 am in the main building – clutching on to our folders of important documents for our dear lives. At the main quad we also met up with Lida, my fellow History of Art course mate from the Czech Republic. Enrolment went so fast; 30 minutes as opposed to the 4 hours it took me in Beijing! We were now officially a part of the UCL community, and we all walked proudly around campus with our ID badges. This woman even asked me where she could find various UCL facilities!
Afterwards we registered for the health care and IT facilities, and I was so joyful when I saw the health care form. We had to tick in our ethnicity (different ethnicities are prone to different diseases), and for the first time in my 21 years, they presented us with a box that included mixed ethnicities! People are probably not understanding why I am fretting over this, but for a person who has always been classified as this and that, or the “But you’re caucasian”, “But you’re Asian” nonsense, it was good to find “my” group for once:
After getting the health care sorted out, Muz and I also applied for a UK bank account which should be activated in a week’s time. (Unless there is something horribly wrong with my application). Before going back to our rooms to rest, we all bought tickets for various Freshers’ Events. We must have as much fun in London as possible before term starts – although you won’t be seeing me drinking and dancing at a new club every night. I haven’t got the stamina for that! However, most of us are going to the two major events, which is the Freshers’ Fiesta @ KOKO’s launching us into freshers’ forthnight on Sunday, and then the Freshers’ Ball @ Ministry of Sound on October 7th. A bunch of us from Connaught Hall have also signed up for the London by Night Tour, so we will first be exploring a lit up London in an open air double decker bus, and then head straight to the Freshers’ Fiesta. I simply can’t wait, and I have been urging friends from other halls to join us too!
Now I am just relaxing in my room – I figured I really needed to catch up on some sleep. Was originally going to this pub jumping with some people from International Hall, as Guinness is celbrating its 200th anniversary – but I skipped it and decided to hang out at my hall with Azra and Carmen, two girls I met at dinner. We sat in Azra’s room giggling and talking, and it was really cosy with a night in. Later Carmen and I checked out the Connaught Hall gardens and the basement facilities. (Finally found the laundry room, hurray!). The garden was filled with beer drinking second year students. Originally we were planning to introduce ourselves and be social, but they were too big and scary, so we went back inside!