This one is pretty long so don’t feel like you need to read all of it, just like to get down my thoughts (:
It was only just a week ago that I was doing my last minute packing (who am I kidding, *starting my packing..) and I already feel like I have been here forever! Time has flown by, usually I feel like the days are long and the years are short but I have a feeling that not only will my time here pass me by so quickly but so will the days as well. I already love it here so much and couldn’t be happier with the decision I made to study abroad!
A lot of the Americans here ended up arriving in Manchester around the same time so on the same bus to Hull, and coincidently also the girls I share my block with! There has been 7 or so of us from America, along with one girl from South Korea, and another from Denmark that have been exploring around together. We’ve also made friends with lots of other people from places like France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Australia, and all over the UK of course too. Its great how open minded and friendly everyone is. Probably one of my favorite things has just been getting to compare the differences of our countries, talk social issues, differences in government systems, etc. One of the things I really have loved talking to the Germans and Danish about is their views of themselves as global citizens and also their consciousness of their impacts on the environment. Not here to voice my political opinion whatsoever (because honestly I don’t even feel I’ve educated myself enough to do so) but learning of these views comes at an interesting time with all of the political issues in our own country, along with the current Brexit situation in the UK. Some of the systems here I really wish the US would take on though is 1) better public transportation because it is amazing and I thoroughly enjoy riding the bus and being productive while doing so and 2) enforce better recycling systems/waste reduction. For example every bag is at least an extra 5 pence (similar to cents) fee, that has encouraged me to buy reusable bags and carry them with me whenever I think I might be buying anything.
Anyways since Thursday here is a quick rundown of what I’ve been doing:
Friday I attended orientation and got to explore my beautiful campus for the first time. My favorite spot is the Observatory on the library’s top floor. It has panoramic views of the whole city and I know its cheesy but it honestly took my breath away (& no, not because I took the stairs).
Saturday we went out to Hull’s historic city center and oh my gosh I can’t help I’m such a tourist. I think all the Germans I was with were slightly confused why I was freaking out so much over Hull because they are used to sights like it, but to me seeing such old, beautiful architecture is amazing. We were walking around the cobblestone streets along the North Sea when the sun came out I think maybe for the first time since I’ve been here and it was so stunning. When people say England is cloudy they are definitely right and maybe I’m just in awe of everything, but I think it just makes the sun that much better when it is out. That night I bought my first legal drink and have maybe bought a couple more since… (; BUT I have yet to be carded! Slightly upsetting.
Sunday we went out to Cottingham again for a walk and to run some errands but it turned into just a walk because everything is either not open or closes very early on Sundays. It was like the disappointment of wanting Chickfila on a Sunday but over and over again. (which I am craving rn or also chipotle, but at least they DO have peanut butter here)
Monday was the first official day of class, in which I didn’t even know if I had class… Stressful but I think this whole experience is teaching me to be less of a perfectionist and be more okay with just going with the flow of things I cannot control. I spent the day running around to different buildings, attending different meetings and orientations, and finally at the end of the day ending up with a nonconflicting schedule with none of the classes I had originally signed up for (: They will all still transfer in as the credits I need though which is great! I will also be SCUBA certified at the end of the semester through one of my classes, so that is also pretty neat. We all celebrated getting through day 1 by hanging out in our hall’s pub which has some life changing ciders and spontaneously buying train tickets to Leeds this Wednesday!! (Don’t worry its just a day trip and we aren’t missing any class!)
Today (or I guess yesterday because I am still up because jet lag is real) I went on my first run in England. By the end of it I may have had horse poop on my shoes, lost my room key, found my room key, and thought I might cough up my lungs because the cold air was harsher than I thought, but besides that it was absolutely beautiful! Then I had my first actual class, which of course was still kinda a mess with me being an exchange student, but it should all be worked out soon enough! After class I went to a school sponsored event at an escape room downtown and it was so much fun! I got separated from the rest of my friends and was put in a group in which all of us were from different countries, which made it all the more interesting but we still made it out!
I can’t wait to explore another beautiful city tomorrow and then am also taking another day trip to York with the university this weekend! As long as my schedule stays the same I will only have class Tuesdays-Thursdays making every weekend a four day weekend, perfect for traveling! (:
Ps. No incidents to report yet regarding the haunted toilet..