After lots of party photos, let me share with you my daily life – because I am often found hanging about in my room like a cosy little hermit with an art history book in my lap! And please forgive me for the crappy English – I simply don’t have the time to read and rewrite as much as I used to! There is just so much in my life that I want to share!
I would recommend every university student – whether international or local – to live in a hall in their first year. Half the reason why I wanted to go to university was because of the social aspect. I did not wish to only develop through lectures – I wished to develop through interaction with people so completely different from myself. The people here are so worldy, so diverse, so passionate – so rich. Students who live outside halls are missing out on so much fun! My room is located on the first floor (second floor to us Norwegians and everyone else in the world), and I have neighbours from Malaysia, Japan, Italy, Vietnam and Singapore amongst others, plus of course Britons. It is always nice to cheerfully exclaim “hello” to each other in the corridors, and in general just absorbe the diversity.
I love my hall (Connaught Hall), and as it is catered with set mealtimes, I always look forward to going down for breakfast and dinner where I can enjoy a chat with my new friends and discuss the plans for upcoming events. Most of the people here are extremely friendly and outgoing, and it is thanks to them that I haven’t had one moment of homesickness. Yesterday Taro, my Japanese neighbour, came knocking on my door. I am still not over my freshers’ flu, and for days he has been hearing me coughing through the walls. So he came to me with a bag full of Japanese tea and sweets! I was so moved by his gesture – and this is just an example of how many lovely people there are in this building!
To be honest, the food in catered halls is not always the best. Especially not if you’re used to you mom’s excellent home cooking. Due to occasionally non-edible food and a hectic schedule, I haven’t been looking after my health the way I should be. Both Valerie and I are noticing how our previously fitted pants are starting to sag, and Carmen commented the other day that I had lost a lot of weight. I was quite shocked that it was actually visible to people who had only known me for two weeks, and I have now become much better at feeding myself. What I love about Britiain is how you can get these really exciting sandwiches for a mere £2.50, and my latest craze is vegetable pakora sandwiches and Marks & Spencers’ vegetarian sushi. (And no, I am not a vegetarian – but I have always had a mild phobia for meat).
One thing I do NOT like though, is BARCLAYS’! We all applied for Barclays’ accounts during the International Students’ Orientation Programme, and we were assured that the accounts would be set up within a week. Now, after three weeks, none of us have heard a word from them! No letter, no debit card – no nothing. I have my Norwegian debit card, so I will survive – but these transactions are costing me a lot! And a lot of students are getting into financial problems as their cash is running out and they desperately need a UK bank account. Muz and I are going to Barclays’ on Tuesday to ask them what the hell they are playing at, and to get them to set up an account for us there and then like Joao and Bobby were forced to. Tempting just to swap over to HSBC however.