Freshers’ Week: a great adventure, the best time of our lives, or the week which was so fabulous that we don’t remember it, depending on who you ask.
To some, this might even seem a bit frightening; especially if you’ve travelled 1200 miles, crossing several borders on the way. Talking to your friends at home about moving to another country, where you will start from scratch – not knowing anybody, making brand new friends and acquainting yourself with an unknown surrounding – is pretty cool, but when it gets to the day of your departure, you just wish you hadn’t had boasted so much, because you never know where you will end up.
That was my case. I have always been an adventurer – hitch-hiking through my own country, making trips abroad when possible, spending summers away from home just to earn some more money, but going to uni seemed like a genuinely adult thing to do. Pay for the accommodation, apply for a student loan, book a plane, coach, underground, train… My mum was checking my location every other hour, just to see that I had not given up and whether I was able to form a coherent reply. I’ve found that UK transport can get under your skin if you’re not familiar with the system.
My goal was clear. If I ever got to Exeter St. David’s rail
station, I might well die of either happiness, or sheer exhaustion. As it was, I had deported myself from my country to England, and miraculously managed to reach Exeter. Congrats, girl! You’ve made it! Now what? A fear of getting lost in a strange city flooded my thoughts. I took a deep breath, left the station and started to walk confidently along the road. Which road, I didn’t know. The only thing I knew was that my accommodation was near the railway, so I had to walk beside it, either down, or up. Me, my backpack and an enormous piece of luggage.
Drenched in my own sweat, I trudged along as cars provided some stressful background noises around me occasionally… In that moment I admitted it. I was lost. The worst thing was, after five minutes of wandering, I still didn’t know if I had the right direction. Unexpectedly, I caught a glimpse of something. A pink t-shirt. I did my best to walk up to the t-shirt, to make an inquiry about my location. Worn out, looking somewhat messy, I nearly forgot how to speak English. But the pink t-shirt changed into a
lovely girl of around 22 years. She must had understood my struggle, because she talked to me straight away and after my little stammer, encouraged me to speak with a smile on her face. After she’d directed me towards my place of residence, I finally made my way in the right direction! Fantastic! However, I soon encountered another problem. How am I supposed to find my flat on a street full of houses? I had the image of the building in my head, but all of them just seemed to be much the same. However, as I turned the corner, my worries were proven to be in vain.
A new group of pink t-shirts greeted me and suddenly, Exeter felt like home. There was no need to worry about finding my room, carrying my heavy luggage up two floors, or getting information about where to buy my duvets. My guide – a Law student whose name I forgot in all the stress, did everything for me. He was fully informed and keen to help. Later on as I sat alone, I thought it was very kind thing to do for the Freshers – to volunteer in saving their poor nerves which were constantly tested throughout the whole of Freshers’ week. I feel their work should be more appreciated, because the pink t-shirts saved my life!