I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to start school again! I thought I had a huge disadvantage since I’d been out of school for so long, but because it’s been such a long time since I studied anything, I think I am actually more enthusiastic than the poor, fed up students who just finished A levels. We got a tour of the main library today, and I wanted to dive into the bookshelves and set up a tent there. I have also been proudly marking all of my new notebooks and folders with name tags, just like I did in primary school! People think I am completely crackbrained when I tell them I am aching for lectures to start, but I guess that is because I have chosen to study something I am passionate and dedicated towards, rather than choosing something “prestigious” just for the sake of it. We all have different talents – and we should embrace them no matter if they are considered “prestigious” or not. Our talents make us special and important – and if you haven’t got the interest or the aptitude for a subject, you are simply not the right person to be studying it.

Today we have been deciding what courses to take this year. We all have to take 4.0 course units a year, and for those who don’t know, my programme of studies is in fact History of Art with Material Studies (HAMS), a Bachelor degree that is unique to UCL. Basically it is History of Art, but HAMS students also study the technical and chemical aspects of art and painting, which means we will be doing a basic science course for artists. If there is one aspect of my education which has been lacking it is the science part, and hence I am thrilled to finally become smarter in that area. I am doing the following modules in my first year:

  • HART1001: History of Art and Its Objects (1.0 unit)
  • HART1306: History of European Art: Classical to Renaissance (0.5 unit)
  • HART 1305: History of European Art: High Renaissance to the Present day (0.5 unit)
  • HART1302: Methods and Materials of Artists (0.5 unit)
  • HART1303: Science for Art Historians (0.5 unit)
  • HART1307: Thematic Seminar: The Art of the Grotesque (0.5 unit)
  • LCMA6004: Mandarin Level 4 (D) (0.5 unit)

I am so excited I could pee my pants – especially as I am allowed to not only develop my skills in art history, but also in science, chemistry and language. This course is going to make me a richer person in so many ways. 

The lot of us also had to go to the UCL Language Centre to sign up for our chosen 0.5 unit language course, and also have a brief interview with our language teachers in order for them evaluate our language proficiency. As mentioned earlier I am doing Mandarin Chinese, and the Mandarin teacher (a cute, huggable Chinese lady) gave me a text in hanzi that I had to read out loud. I was amazed at how much I could actually remember, and was even more amazed when she told me she was placing me in Level D – the hardest level. If a Chinese person was to come up to me and ramble along in Mandarin I’d be struck dumb – but obviously she saw some potential in me, something which I very much appreciated. In Norway, teachers in general decide not to push or encourage students to excel, and that is something I have always disliked with the Norwegian school system.  If this teacher wants to challenge me, then I am totally up for it! I am overjoyed to find that I will be doing Mandarin again, because I was of the impression that studying Mandarin wasn’t an option at UCL! I was dreading the language course, because I thought I had to let my Mandarin go to waste, and instead waste time studying French or Italian, which I wasn’t at all interested in doing. But now that I am doing Mandarin, my whole world has become instantly brighter!

I am taking it easy tonight, as tomorrow is bound to be wild and energy consuming. I promised myself not to sign up for Freshers’ parties that took place on weekdays, but what do I do? I happily agree to sign up for Club Neon @ Fire, a UV rave where we are to celebrate Lida’s upcoming birthday by skipping around with glowsticks and rub our drunken limbs up against each other. Worst part is that I can’t wait. I have always had a dream of skipping around with glowsticks. (I bet you people don’t do that in Norway…or?). Talking of Freshers’, how are you all liking my new dress for the Freshers’ Ball? Got it for £15 on Oxford Street, and it simply screamed “Cathrine” when I looked at it:

dress

Trying to find the balance between partying and studying here.

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