The year has barely started and I already have to pack my bags for a 12 hour flight back home. The first three months have been a roller coaster ride, adjusting to a home away from home, a completely new education system, and to international students, a completely different language.
As freshers, we come in all shapes and sizes. Come January, some of us will be freaking about our exams, despite knowing that they don’t count to our final grades (oops) and don’t matter at all. Some of us will be itching to launch ourselves back into societies and sports teams, some of us will still be panicking about houses and housemates for next year.
The first three months have been a roller coaster ride
There are the bad things that add onto our confusion. There have been countless times I have sat staring at the essay deadlines on BART, thinking to myself whether it was a mistake to choose the particular degree I am studying. For others, it is the pain of studying for a test when your hallmates are up in Ireland for reading week. It gets worse when you go back home on Wednesday nights after sports absolutely hammered, and someone outside your window is blasting Nicki Minaj into the night. Then, 8:30 in the morning, you realize you know no one in this lecture, and have to sit alone. And the worst of all, not having the option to call your parents for help when you accidentally got mayonnaise on your favourite shirt.
Of course, on the flip side, there are the good things. Actually studying things that you feel are relevant to your future, or something that you’re actually interested in. Having the freedom to sleep however late you want, or skip lectures for the first time and feel like a rebel, until you realize nobody cares. Getting to participate in all the amazing societies the university has to offer, coming together with like-minded people in this community where diversity is praised and respected.
And the list goes on and on and on, and it will probably never exhaust even after I have graduated and left. It seems like a lifetime ago that we were sitting for our exams, mulling over our personal statements, deciding on which universities to apply, stepping into high school with eyes big and wide. I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing with my course / my degree / my life, but (I think) I’m ready to take on the challenges university is going to throw in my face (Except for lemons, because I have no idea how to make lemonade).