This time last year, I was preparing to start my courses at Sussex University after about a month of traveling and getting acquainted with my university, Brighton and beyond. You can see the original post here.
After (for lack of a better word) dumping my stuff at my friend Adam and Clare’s flat, I headed on my first international trip to Dublin, Ireland with my friend Joe. My favorite part was our day trip to the northern coast and meeting up with my other friend, Rachel, who showed us all the great local spots in Temple Bar.
Immediately after Dublin, I went to Copenhagen, Denmark. Although it was a lovely city, I was a bit underwhelmed with things to do, perhaps because it was my first time traveling alone.
Before I moved into my halls, I took a power tour of Brighton with another girl from Arizona State called Emily before taking the train up to north London to see Brand New. I moved into my halls the very next morning, but I didn’t have much time to socialize because my dad came to visit. He saw my room and a bit of campus, but I was new to the area myself, so I couldn’t show him as much as I would have liked.
Then, Fresher’s Week began. As I explained in my original post, Fresher’s Week is a British university tradition where students (particularly first years) attend a lot of social events, both in town and through the school. It was a great way to hang out with my roommates and make friends which would last the whole year and possibly a lifetime. In retrospect, it wasn’t so much the events that were memorable, but the friendships I made, rather. I wish we had Fresher’s Week in the United States, I feel I’m much better at meeting people in pure social situations rather than in a society or in class.
I also had my first proper trip to London that week with my wonderful guide, Tom. It was a beautiful day, little did I know it was one of the last warm, sunny days I’d see until spring. I was overwhelmed with how big the city was, how many people there were and how gross the River Thames was. Regardless, I felt lucky to live near such a huge city with rich history and vast culture.
When I first came to the United Kingdom, it took me a while to adjust (particularly counting change, familiarizing myself with stores, and more), but by the end of my time abroad, I knew my way around the city better than most. However, I still struggled with where to wait for the bus and the whole driving-on-the wrong-side of the road thing will never make sense to me.