After spending time with my family at home, taking my exams, and an exhausting week of traveling Germany, it feels good to be back into a routine. Doing normal things like going to class, playing sports and going out all keep me grounded and make this whole experience feel like real life rather than a vacation.
I have been back in class now for a week and I think I’m really going to enjoy this semester. I’m taking conservation biology, evolutionary biology, resource management and gender across cultures. It’s good to have a few friends or at least familiar faces in all my classes even though most of the work we do is independent.
On a related note, I got to meet up with Sussex students who intend to study abroad at Arizona State next year. It really put into prospective how quickly my experience has gone by and how I’ve grown. Either way, I’m glad to pass on any pearls of wisdom and helpful tips I can before they set off on their own adventure.
I’ve also enjoyed seeing my friends more regularly now that exams are over, even though I’m participating in a month of being alcohol-free. Don’t worry, I don’t have any alcohol problems, it’s just something my friends and I wanted to try before the end of the school year but I’m the only one with enough self-control to go through with it. I’m currently over three weeks in and will post about my experience once my month is up a little over a week from now. We recently found a lively club that plays alternative music every Tuesday night, so we enjoy that every few weeks. We also like to go to local gigs, karaoke and events on campus like movie night in a lecture theater.
This week was a sports trial week, where all the on campus recreational sports were free rather than their usual £1. I played volleyball, “football,” and capture the flag, although capture the flag is through the Urban Games Society, so it’s always free. My favorite was volleyball, the turnout was great and the activators encouraged a good volley during the games rather than a competitive game. I think I will try to go more regularly or otherwise exercise more.
As I look back on my first term, I can see some ways to improve on this one, which is why I’m thankful my program is for the whole school year. I will try to get active, post on this blog more often, find a job and do more productive things in my down time like practice a new language or read. A big goal of mine was to come out of my comfort zone while I’m here and I feel I have done that. I will continue to try new things, meet new people and see new places to make this term even better.