An International Student of Literature in England.
It hit me hard last Thursday, the day of A-Level results in England: I wish I could do freshers all over again. It made me quite nostalgic for the past year at UEA and especially the huge excitement of the first days and even first weeks. Moving away from home is a big deal and it can be quite stressful since you have to get used to a completely new environment. However, it’s also an amazing feeling because you can finally be much more independent, meet tons of new people and leave college (and the stress of A-Levels) behind, which is a great thing!
Things were different for me last year since I took and passed the equivalent of A-Level (Baccalauréat) in France in 2012! But I’ll never forget the joy and relief that took over me when I saw my results. I’ll never forget how happy I was the day I got an unconditional offer either. So congratulations to all of the students joining UEA or other universities in September! 😀 You’ll soon discover an incredible sense of community and start a new life. The atmosphere on campus during Freshers’ Week is incredible and everybody will be super friendly!
Is it stressful, but everything will be fine as long as you get prepared in advance. Remember you’re not alone: your parents or perhaps older siblings can give you tips. People at university will also help you, and remember that all the other students are going through the same things! They might now show it, but most people will feel homesick or a bit lost sometimes. You will support each other and will have too much fun to worry anyway!
My main advice would be to be careful with your finances and loans, because it’s very easy to spend a lot of money quickly on going out and drinks, but remember you’ll also need to eat properly, buy toiletries and other things you may not have thought about. One thing I didn’t really think about last year was how many books I’d need to buy for my course! As an English Literature students, I mainly needed to buy novels and found cheap second-hand ones on Amazon but we almost studied one book per week. For other courses, you may need to buy very expensive manuals that usually cost about £40, if not more.
I can’t believe I only have about a month left at home before going back to Norwich. Time went by so quickly. I’m excited to go back in a way but it’ll be strange to “leave home” again and to get used to living in a new house with only two of my friends instead of 6! I can’t stop thinking about our house, how I’ll arrange my room and how to deal with more things alone. It’s like you’re given a little more independence every year and your parents are never going to do everything for you again. When you live in UEA accommodation, if the kitchen equipment stops working or if a light bulb or fuse breaks, you just call someone and they’ll come to repair it. When you rent a house, you dad’s not going to come to do it for you. So that’s something I’m a bit stressed about although I’m sure it will be alright.
Basically, we’re adults now. Sort of.
I also hope I’ll enjoy my new modules. But hey, we’ll see how it goes. For now, I’m trying to change one module because they put me in “Reading and Writing Contemporary Poetry” but I suck at it and don’t even like poetry. I’m thankful I had to study poetry for a bit at university in France (in my English course) because we never did that in college. The thing is, it’s quite hard for people whose mother tongue isn’t English due to the vocabulary and rhythm of words. In French, words don’t really have a rhythm. In English, they do, and while my accent has improved I’ll never be able to speak like a British person. Anyway, all I’m saying is I don’t like poetry 😛 . Instead, I’d really love to do the Words and Images modules in which they study comics and the use of drawings! I never thought you could study comics at university level in a literature course. I get the feeling it’s already full but I can still cross my fingers. If I can’t do that module, I’ll try to do Modern Fiction or War Lives: Britain During WW2.
Apart from this module, I’ve been accepted in the other ones I signed up for: Reading and Writing Translations (I’m super excited about this one!), Modernism, Shakespeare (not yay but I kinda had to take it), 18th Century Writing and European Literature!
Here’s a souvenir from last summer: me packing up.
I hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer. See you soon for more posts about getting ready for your first year!