An International Student of Literature in England.
I could also have called this article “the best days of my second year” or “10 things that kept me going” because that’s really what this is. Similar to my first blog anniversary article, I wanted to recall and share with you the best moments of my second year of university! Only one year left before I get out of education and enter the wild world… This is scary.
In one word, Year 2 was hard, and it’s an understatement. I loved all the modules I picked (apart from Shakespeare), discovered so much, learnt so much, improved so much… But it won’t erase the struggles that come with university, all the hard work and constant efforts I put into my work. This year was challenging in many ways and I’m glad it’s over because I needed this break! This year, I was alone – with no family – for the first time in my life because my boyfriend moved to Southampton, I missed my family and missed home even more in the weeks following the second terrorist attack in Paris.
However, it has also brought lots and lots of fun and memorable times and moments I am so grateful for! I need to have tangible things to look forward to, and all the things mentioned below were perfect 🙂 I’m sure you’ll quickly identify a theme or two in the following list…
In September, only a couple of weeks after term started I got to see my favourite artist, Steven Wilson, live again – and this time it was in a prestigious venue, the Royal Albert Hall, for a special performance with guests. Needless to say it was amazing but what made it even more special is that it was the first time I saw my boyfriend since the end of the holidays. After the concert, we spent the night back in Southampton in his flat, which meant I could finally see where he lived and met his flatmates.
I got so excited when I realised I had a reading week during the first semester: it meant I could spend a whole week with my boyfriend! We’d been planning it for ages and in fact, I am looking at the sticky note on which we’d written our plans for that week as I write this. He made me discover Southampton, we spent a day in a beautiful park (New Forest) and I’ll never forget the very studenty experience of a sharing a single bed. Spending so much time with Joshua and out of Norwich felt so good and refreshing! I wrote more about it here.
November was the month of London with Joshua, thanks to his parents who’d just found a flat there! We’d been expecting that for a while and I was super excited about it, about visiting museums, about breaking my routine. This is another thing I am so grateful for and feel so lucky about (remember, I’m still a bit like a tourist in England). In 2012, when I spent a week in London (for the first time) with my family, it was like a dream… I was so lucky to be able to go again for a fun weekend!
The following week, my boyfriend and I were back in London for my 21st birthday weekend — the celebration of my very existence (I really hope you guys get all the sarcasm in my blog and don’t think I’m a pretentious b*tch). The end of term was getting super close and I had three essays to work on but being able to be with “family” (or “familiar faces” – let’s not get too emotional here) on my birthday meant a lot to me, that was all I wanted. And what a birthday! One of the most special and memorable birthdays of my life. Not because I was turning 21 (it doesn’t have a particular meaning in France) but because it felt so good! 😀 I got amazing presents from everybody and was so touched, when I got back home to Norwich my housemates also had gifts for me, and the next day I finally managed to meet up with my flatmates from first year. To me, it was perfect!
Three months far from home is a longtime and it felt good to be back after a tough semester and essays! I’m not usually into a “Christmas spirit” but this time I was and even had tea in a Santa mug – that’s crazy, right? I can’t even explain how happy I felt (as always) when I got out of the airport, my family picked me up, and my brother literally jumped on me (or was it me jumping on him?) out of genuine happiness! This is one of the best feelings in the world 🙂 The Christmas break was awesome and I spent an cool New Year’s Eve with Joshua and his family (although I made a fool of myself once or twice but it’s okay, they must be used to it…).
I was so happy I could be with Joshua for his birthday at the end of January! I spent a long weekend there and had got very excited about it despite work already piling up for the second semester. I hope it made him as happy as I was.
O, Derren… Uni wouldn’t be uni without him. I had no idea who he was until a friend of mine introduced me to his amazing shows in first year. I’m so glad I didn’t miss this opportunity because I always find having things to look forward to always motivates me. As I said in my review of the show, Miracle made me smile so much, firstly because it’s Derren so what do you expect?, and also because it was about happiness! I remember I couldn’t stop smiling like a fool the next morning while I was having breakfast because I was trying so hard not to tell my friend everything about it! (to this day, the secret is safe)
The day I went to London for Derren’s show, my godmother had come to London for the day (from the North of France) with her colleagues from work. We were supposed to meet up but her phone didn’t work in England so I had no idea where she was. We were both disappointed but she loved London so much that she decided to come back to see me! Since she lives in the other side of France, I used to see her two or three times a year during the holidays when we went to visit my grandparents in the North. But since they died and we sold their house, seeing her is rare and precious! I was sooooooooooo happy to spend a day with her and… I didn’t get lost!
I talked a lot about this in an article not so long ago, my parents and brother came to Norwich for the first time after the Easter break! We had a great time and I was so happy to finally be able to show them everything I liked about Norwich, the university, my house…
I think now is a good time to thank personally but indirectly one of my housemates and awesome friend for being one of the nicest and most hilarious people I know! For all the times we watched Disney films together, Derren Brown, Louis Theroux, as well as other strange/weird/creepy/horrible program on Channel 4 (our guilty pleasure), for our video game marathon, for all our cooking incidents, all the burnt food (and tea towel, oven gloves, fingers…), the blocked toilet, our strange experience of being forced to use the freezing outside toilet… And for making me smile so much in general! Uni wouldn’t be uni without her – and what makes this time of your life so special is the people you meet and keep in your heart 🙂 I told you this would get cheesy!
Now, let’s make Year 3 as memorable!