As the title states, it has been a nearly whopping two weeks since I have arrived in England. That does not sound right. Two weeks already? It is already flying by which is not good. I need this trip to last forever! I almost forgot about posting a blog because I feel so engrossed in everything I am doing. What is strange for me is I don’t feel as if I am abroad. I know that I am not at my home university or my home for that matter, but Leicester does not feel foreign to me. This thought reminds me of what my aunt told me before I left. She said, “Don’t just visit there, live there.” I think my aunt was right. I have been trying to live here and make it feel like home, rather than feel like a visiting tourist. I think doing so has made it more easy to acclimate to my environment and feel more at home. Granted there are phrases or ways of doing things that I am still trying to adjust to but I do feel myself catching on. For instance, here in the U.K. people refer to friends as mates but what is more different is sometimes they refer to their friends as the c-word (I hope you can figure that out because I refuse to say exactly what it is in this blog). In the U.S., this word is extremely vulgar and used as an insult but here in England, I’ve heard my housemates use it for each other and it sounds more like a term of endearment, just like the words “friend” or “mate”. That word throws me off the most especially because they use it so nonchalantly that it loses its vulgarity. They also refer to cigarettes as fags, which is another word I’m only used to hearing as an insult, but again it is a nonchalant term that only refers to a cigarette.
Moving on from slang, I completed my first week of classes at Uni! VERY different from my home university. Here, there are no small assignments or midterm exams; instead, there are readings and participation in class seminars, at least one essay and the final exam. Sounds really easy right? Well the exams for this term will be given after I have left the country so in place of an exam, I will write an additional essay. The impressions I have gotten from professors and other students, essays are written much differently than how I have been learning to write them. For instance, one professor told the class not to use direct quotes as evidence . . . excuse me? That is literally the only way I was taught how to provide evidence in my essays. So I am going to have to speak with my professors, consult a tutor, ask my housemates and so much more to make sure I don’t screw up my essays and flunk out of classes because I do plan to graduate in the near future. Another difference is the class rooms themselves. Some of my class rooms can only be entered if you go through one door to get to a corridor with another door then go down the hallway and arrive at the class room. That is so much more complicated than what I am used to. Can’t there just be one door, I pull it open and boom! there is my class room? I guess not. That may not seem like a big difference but maybe just the fact that I know I’m in the U.K. makes it feel more different.
Also, I never have classes on Wednesdays. What am I supposed to do for a whole day in the middle of the week? I’m glad you ask. I think starting next week I will spend my Wednesday(s) (depending on my budget) hopping on a bus and visiting another city in England. By bus, I can get to so many other cities in less than two hours. Plus bus tickets are super cheap if I book them a few days ahead of time. So look at that, I’m going to explore England before I get an entire month off and explore Europe. Sounds like a hell of a good time to me!
Speaking of exploring England, tomorrow I head off to London for two days! I am so excited to see London. I am going in a group so have no fear of me getting lost in a big, foreign city. I will be with friends and we are going to have so much fun! We’re going to tour the London Dungeon, go on the London Eye and by golly I am going to buy myself a Guinness! I feel like such an adult doing all this traveling and decision making (I’m dorky, it’s okay). I think this is about all I have to say for now. The included image is of me standing in front of the City Centre’s clock tower!