An International Student of Literature in England.
Another year has passed!
Another birthday celebrated in England, too. I arrived in Norwich just before I turned 20, and it feels like this was many years ago. I can’t believe I am already 22 (trying not to feel too old) and yet can’t believe I am only 22 (grumpy old me speaking now). It seems to me that a world and a million experiences have happened since I moved to England, or even since I finished secondary school. It’s really hit me that I’m not a 16-year old teenage girl anymore and I’m a “woman” (I hate saying this) in my twenties. Teenagers years can be very weird and scary but being in your twenties is probably worse to a degree: you are really responsible for your actions, your parents aren’t always behind you, you really need to become independent and accept the fact that you’re an adult who needs to graduate, find a job, a home…
I had a really cool birthday though and feel so grateful for all the people who made it special! For obvious reasons I couldn’t be with my family but I’m getting used to it now. My birthday was on a Tuesday this year which meant I couldn’t be with my boyfriend but we spent the previous weekend in London! Despite me not being in a Christmas mood, we went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and I had so much fun. I’m terrified of roller coasters and stuff but we went onto a ride and I kept screaming/laughing like an idiot. I really thought I was going to be thrown out of my seat. It was hilarious though and one of my best memories ever with my boyfriend 😛 In the evening, we went to the restaurant with him and his parents, it was really nice!
On my actual birthday, I allowed myself what’s now become rare: a day of rest, with no university work. Although I am incredibly stressed about university, essays and jobs at the moment, I managed not to think about all this or to feel bad for not working. I went to Great Yarmouth with a friend which was really fun! I know Great Yarmouth isn’t the most glamorous place in the world and it doesn’t compare to the South of France but I’d been wanting to go to the beach for a while. It was really empty but also so peaceful and sunny! 🙂 And what’s this thing about having arcades everywhere?! And then I celebrated with cake, wine and TV with my housemates — the perfect way to spend an evening for me. I got really cool presents and Skyped my family for a while too, which hadn’t happened in a while. So I’m happy 🙂 It felt good to allow myself this one day of calm before the storm.
It hit me that next year, I won’t be celebrating my birthday at UEA which feels so weird. Within a couple of weeks of arriving at UEA, UEA became my life, my home, my family, my new country. I feel good here. I’m not a big fan of celebrations but for my 22nd birthday I want to remember how much I have achieved and how far I got because the past couple of years at uni have been very challenging, but equally rewarding.
Let’s make the next 22 years as memorable! 😛 (oh no I’ll be 44 in 22 years… Maths skills!)