Richmond Park and More Class

TGIF! I’m so thrilled to not have any class today and sleep in yet again (yes, I LOVE sleep). Since my last post, I’ve been busy with classes and a little exploring around campus. On Tuesday (9/25), Raleigh, Liza, and I went to go check out Richmond Park, a beautiful open area full of pretty vegetation and wild animals, mostly deer! Richmond Park is just a ten minute walk from campus and is the largest Royal Park in London (about 2500 acres). It has a few roads and sidewalk paths that go through it so people can bike, walk, or run around the park without having to worry about stepping in poop (there was a LOT of that). Without really knowing which path to take through the park, we decided to just pick a road and walk down it… hopefully embarking on some food towards the end of the path. The park was bigger even more beautiful that I had imagined. It was just full of open grassy areas and the packs of deer grazing the fields were incredible! There were a lot of people running and biking through the park but I could tell they’ve seen it all before because the park’s beauty didn’t faze them at all, while Raleigh, Liza and I stopped every five minutes to observe the deer or take pictures. We finally made it all the way across one part of the park by the (from the Roehampton Gate to the Richmond Gate) and walked a few more minutes until we came across a little pub and ate there for lunch. This link shows an interactive map of the park so you can get an idea of how big it really is: http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond-park/map-of-richmond-park . I ordered bangers and mash… my first traditional English meal! Bangers and mash is basically like nice sausage links on top of mashed potatoes with some gravy and caramelized onions. Delicious! Liza ordered fish and chips so I also got to try that dish as well… I actually really liked it surprisingly enough (since I don’t like fish I wasn’t so sure about that one). Anyway, our day exploring Richmond Park was very nice and we got some good exercise walking there and back!

Wednesday (9/26… MY HALF BIRTHDAY) I woke up somewhat early and took a trip to Asda (the big, cheap grocery store like Walmart) with Sinead and Laura (flat rep friends). Laura is borrowing her mom’s car and drove us there (something I’m not used to because we take the bus almost everywhere). It was so weird being in a small car driving on the opposite side of the road. I’d be so freaked out to drive around here… people are crazy and so impatient! After my much needed Asda trip, I came back and got ready for the women’s basketball trials (AKA tryouts). It went pretty well but was somewhat frustrating at times when playing with girls who really just cannot play. I was pretty patient with them though and did my best anyway. I just received a text last night telling me I made the team, and practice officially starts on Monday so I’m looking forward to playing with some better talent. After basketball, I met Raleigh and Chelsea for the volleyball taster session and played that for a little while. I felt really bad for the people running it because it was so unorganized and barely anyone there knew how to play. We left early because it just wasn’t what we expected, but at least I got to check it out I guess.

Thursday (9/27) was a day full of sitting in class. I had another (boring) sociology lecture and then two hour seminar, and then an hour for lunch and then Children’s Literature. I actually really enjoyed the lit class because we got to reminisce on our favorite childhood books. I mentioned some of my favorites being the Patricia Polacco books from elementary school, but my professor wasn’t familiar with them (oh well). I am definitely looking forward to that class because it actually seems really interesting and I can’t wait to reread some other childhood favorites like Peter Pan, Alice In Wonderland, and Peter Rabbit and look at them in a new way. After classes, I ordered Chinese with Raleigh and Chelsea to be delivered to campus and we devoured all of it… so worth it!

Today (9/28) I decided to switch out of my sociology class and picked up a linguistics class for my English major that will be only on Mondays so I’m happy about that for next week. I’m taking a trip to Kingston with some of the girls to explore that town, take some pictures, and get some good food for lunch! Tonight is the first official Friday Bop dance on campus and the theme is superheroes… I’ll have to pull together an outfit pretty quickly. More updates and pictures to come soon!

NEW TIMETABLE!

Bangers and mash! YUM.

First Day of Class & Basketball “Taster”

So after some much needed downtime ALL DAY yesterday (Sunday 9/23), I was somewhat well rested for the first day of class at Roehampton today. I only had one sociology lecture from 10-11 am so Mondays will be one of my easiest days (besides Wednesdays and Fridays when I don’t have class)! The class seems like it will be pretty interesting considering I’ve never taken a sociology course before. However, the course has a few components to it and I will be in class for a total of four hours a week just for that one course. I’m now being convinced by my friends to try and switch that one… I’m considering taking a linguistics class instead that will count towards my English major (we’ll see!). Since my last post about finalizing my classes, a few things have changed. The one I was really excited for (Media City & Cultural Capital) has actually gotten cancelled, forcing me to choose a different class instead. So I went to the Media department today and added another interesting class called Travel, Tourism, and the Media which actually seems really cool. And it’s only from 9-11 am on Tuesday mornings (my only class tomorrow)! On Wednesdays I have no class, but something interesting about Wednesdays at this university is that there are little or no classes offered in the afternoon because it is the travel day (or a practice day) for many of the sports teams here. Thursdays are going to be VERY busy for me, though. I have a sociology lecture from 10-11am, then a sociology seminar 11-1, an hour for lunch, and my Children’s Lit class 2-5 pm. Talk about a headache… I’ll let you know how that day goes because I’m pretty sure my brain will explode.

I’m really excited to have Fridays off in order to have a long week to travel somewhere hopefully a few weekends during the term. My friends and I are starting to look for cheap flights to some other places in Europe. Paris, Dublin, Bremen, and Edinburgh are all on my potential travel list. But I’m definitely going to make a huge effort to go visit my roommate, Taylor, who is studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain! My dream is to make it to Rome and Florence, but I’m not sure how feasible that is (especially if I’m trying to save my money).  If anyone has any suggestions on cheap travelling possibilities, PLEASE let me know! 🙂

As for the rest of my day after class… I fixed my schedule and went back to sleep for a while. As of last night, I haven’t been feeling too well (throat and head hurt a little) so I think I may be getting a cold. I’m not too surprised because after that crazy Freshers Week, my immune system probably isn’t the strongest. So I’ve been catching up on almost a whole season of 90210 I missed at school last semester. It’s definitely entertaining when I have downtime.

After napping for a bit, I got ready and went to the “taster session” (open gym) for the women’s basketball team here. I was actually pretty nervous because I haven’t played in a few months and know I’m out of shape to play. However, I turned out to be one of the better ones there. Some girls have barely ever played before, and a lot just didn’t know what they were doing. With that being said, I felt a lot better about my skills (which were a bit rusty for me, but not too bad) when seeing how everyone else played. I could definitely point out the 5 or 6 girls with skill who have played for the team the past few years. I was happy to be playing with a little talent here and there! I was also anxious to see if there were any differences in terms or playing overseas. The captains did a really good job of explaining everything and making everyone feel included which I liked. It was really funny for me to hear so many girls yell out “unlucky” to other girls for encouragement. Whenever someone missed a shot or messed up in some way, they would say “unlucky.” I was so confused at first but then I realized they meant “it’s okay” or “good try.” Still, it was so strange. They also called the pinnies (practice shirts) “bibs.” Overall, it was a good time and I’m glad to be playing a little again. Wednesday afternoon is “trials” (tryouts) so I’ll go to that and see what happens!

After class tomorrow I’m planning on going exploring a little more around the area. Raleigh and I may take a walk to Richmond park, a beautiful area right near campus with deer and other pretty things, or take the bus to a nearby town! The weather has been really crappy and rainy for the past two days, but it looks like it will clear up for tomorrow so I’m excited! More updates to come about a new adventure…

Finished With Freshers Week… Unfortunately

Last night wrapped up the Freshers Week events and it couldn’t have been more perfect. As I mentioned in my last post, the theme was “back 2 skool” so everyone dressed up like schoolgirls/boys. I decided to channel the throwback Brittney Spears schoolgirl look and rocked a tie and pigtail braids… definitely a famous 90’s look! The first part of the night my friends and I hung out by the bar where a DJ was set up playing tons of American music (which EVERYONE knew). After mingling for a little while, we made our way into a larger event hall with a stage (where BOP and the comedy show took place) to dance along to some more music and wait for S Club to take the stage. Finally, three members of S Club 7 came on stage asking everyone one: “Are you ready to take it back to 1999?” Everyone freaked out screaming frantically since these songs basically defined our childhoods. I definitely knew most of the songs they sang, but some people were jumping around singing every single word. You could tell they were S Club 7 fanatics. While their voices sounded the same when singing all their big hits (S Club Party, Reach, Never Had A Dream Come True, Don’t Stop Movin’, Bring It All Back), they definitely didn’t look like those young 20 year olds anymore which made me realize how much time actually passed since their peak of fame. Nevertheless, the concert was so much fun and everyone got to relive some great childhood music.

After about 30 minutes of the concert, people started to get pretty pushy in the event hall so we left there and made our way to a big outside tent hosting a silent disco. This was by far one of the best parts of Freshers Week, hands down. We waited in a short queue (or line, as we Americans call it) and when we entered the inside of the huge tent there was a station with people giving out headphones. I put my headphones on an immediately heard some music blasting into my ear. But here’s the catch: there are two stations of music you can choose between to listen to. So half the people were listening to station one (more rock and jam out type of music) and the others to station two (club hits for dancing). It was the coolest thing switching back and forth between the stations because you can tell which stations people are listening to by their dancing to certain beats. Another thing to note is that the tent wasn’t completely silent, in fact there were so many people singing out the songs really loudly but with no music out loud. It was such a cool experience! Hopefully the school will host another one of those because it was such a unique dance and I’d love to do it again.

Once we were all silent disco-ed out, we went outside of the union bar where there were stations of different food for people to buy after a long night of dancing and singing. The cheeseburger I got may have been one of the best I’ve ever had in my life (haha, I was so hungry). After completely demolishing my burger with friends, I finally made our way back to my flat and passed out around 3 AM. Last night was insane!

Needless to say, I slept in today and got some much needed beauty sleep. I woke up to a dreary and cold rainy day (one of the first ones since I’ve been here so far!) so I definitely will be just resting and hanging out in my flat today so I can be super prepared for the start of classes tomorrow!

 

 

More of Freshers Week

Hello all! Freshers Week is almost over and it’s been one of the most fun, yet exhausting, few days! The Laugh Out Loud comedy show on Tuesday 9/18 (night #2) was pretty funny. The show was divided into two acts, a standup comedian named Lee Nelson who has his own show in the UK, and a three person group called Wit Tank & Tom Crane who did short 30 second to 2 minute sketches. Lee Nelson was somewhat funny and interacted with the audience a lot by picking on them, but so much of the slang he used was really unfamiliar to me so I didn’t get half the jokes (it was weird being the one to not understand!). A lot of the time I had to turn to my British friends to ask what he meant! The other sketch group was really entertaining and we definitely had a good laugh that night!

Wednesday night 9/19 (night #3) was one of the events that a lot of Freshers were looking forward to. Roehampton rented out a beautiful night club called the Clapham Grand which was a huge old-fashioned theater turned into a club/bar. The Grand was even bigger and more elaborate than I expected and I had such a good time hanging out with friends and dancing on the huge dance floor there. During the day before going out to the Grand, I went with my group of girls to a nearby town called Hammersmith to go walk around and shop a bit. Thank goodness for Sinead (my adoptive flat rep) who was our guide on how to get there since the bus system by campus is a bit confusing. The main store everyone goes to in Hammersmith is a place called Primark. It’s just like a mixture of Forever 21 and H&M with cute clothes and cheap prices. I bought an awesome sweater and a pair of leggings but I want to go back already and get a pair of black flats because I somehow managed to forget packing them from home (and they really are a necessity here if I don’t feel like dying in my heels for the night)!

I was super excited to be able to sleep in on Thursday 9/20 and definitely took full advantage of that. The Freshers event for that day started in the afternoon and was called “At The Races.” Everyone got dressed up in somewhat fancy attire (“Posh” as the Brits like to call it!) and we were bussed to Kempton Park to watch some horse races. The event was supposed to last until midnight but my friends and I got tired of watching (somewhat due to the cold and our foot pain from wearing heels), so we left early and I had a relaxing night to hang out and catch up with friends from home.

Friday 9/21 was also a great Freshers day. During the day time, Roehampton hosted the Freshers Fair where everyone goes to see what Roehampton has to offer with clubs and sports. The fair kind of reminded me of UNCW’s Involvement Carnival because all the organizations were out there tabling and we got a lot of free stuff! I signed up to receive some more information about Women’s Basketball, Volleyball, and the student magazine called Fresh where I may try to be a contributor for the term. The fair was a great way to see what Roehampton has to offer and I loved being around all the organizations who showed so much spirit. After the Freshers Fair I tried out the on-campus gym, called RoeActive, for the first time and was so glad to be back in the workout groove. They give all students a free week’s trial to test it out, but I will definitely be joining for the term. Although RoeActive is somewhat small, it has all the things I need to stay in shape for three months while I’m here. Plus, if I end up playing basketball or volleyball I can say active with those sports too! At night the Freshers event was Karaoke at the Union bar on campus. It was really crowded so some people decided to leave early, but I ended up sticking around for a while to mingle with some new people. I had a lot of fun, but sadly did not get up on stage to sing a song (maybe another time!).

Today 9/22 I again got to sleep in (so glorious), and then took a walk down the street to a mini grocery store called the Co-operative (Co-op for short). Raleigh and I got some much needed cabinet snacks and food to hold us over before we have to go back to Asda (the big grocery store) again. Then we went to the gym… I really feel like I need to get back in shape before the basketball “taster session” (or open gym as we call it) on Monday!

Tonight is the last night of Freshers Week events and should be one of the best. It’s called the “back 2 skool party” where everyone dresses up in school-like attire (button ups, ties, skirts). Some of the members from the 90’s group S-Club 7 are coming to perform so everyone is SUPER excited about that, even though only two or three of the group members will be there. Other performances include DJ “BEAT-A-MAXX” and Minstry of Sound “Untrash” (according to the event description). Apparently there will be a silent disco too… I will definitely take some pictures and let you know how it goes!

Sorry this post was so long, this week just has been so crazy busy! More to come soon…

20120922-194221.jpg my new sweater from Primark

 before going to The Grand

 out at the Clapham Grand

 At The Races

The Start of Freshers Week

So the last few days I’ve been somewhat busy running errands, attending welcome sessions, and filling out/handing in paperwork for the university in different areas like finance, registration, and accommodation. However, I am learning a lot about on-campus resources and finding all the buildings pretty well. Roehampton isn’t too difficult to navigate through after a few days!

On Sunday (9/16), the rest of my flatmates arrived and moved in to their rooms on my hall. I thought I was getting four new girls, but it turns out I counted wrong and we only have a five person flat instead (oops!). I’m happy that I can be living with more than just one person now, but still haven’t really gotten to know the girls very well. Mayta is the other international girl from Spain that moved in two days after me and she is very friendly and likes to cook with her friend, so the flat always smells really good. The other three girls are from England so I’m excited to be living with some British natives who may know some things I don’t… and be around their accent a lot. Their names are Emily, Sammy, and Yen Yen and they all seem pretty nice. However, it seems like some of them keep to themselves quite a bit and I kind of wish we were closer flatmates. The flat can get really quiet so I’m really trying to make an effort to get to know them!

I spend a lot of my time in Newman (another dorm building) with Raleigh, Chelsea, and Liza who all live on the same hall there. Newman is just a few minute walk from my building so it’s not too bad. Their flat rep (AKA RA) is the sweetest girl named Sinead and she really makes me feel welcome there… I like to say that Newman is my second home next to Shaw. The girls also have four guys who just moved in and they are all super friendly and welcoming (Theo, Conor, Evan, James). It’s good to be their honorary flatmate!

As of yesterday (Monday 9/17), Freshers Week at Roehampton has officially begun. At this Uni, Freshers Week consists of a fun event each night to welcome all the first year students and help them get to know each other. Last night was a special BOP dance just for flat reps and freshers with a UV theme. They gave us a special white t-shirt to decorate and wear to the dance and glow sticks when we got there to shine under the UV blacklights. It was definitely my favorite night here so far! I find it so funny that at the dance and bar get-togethers, they play tons of American music from the 90s and early 2000s. I really haven’t heard a song I don’t know yet so it’s pretty cool that everyone loves our American jams!

Lastly, today was another more laid back day or hanging out but I did get to finalize my class schedule and get my Roehampton student ID! This term I will be taking Intro to Sociology, Development of Children’s Literature, and a class called Media City and Cultural Capital, which consists of travelling around London with other international students and learning about media and journalism (I’m SUPER excited about this one). And the good news is that I only have class two days a week! I plan on doing a lot of travelling over some long weekends. Very exciting.

Tonight’s Freshers event is called Laugh Out Loud which is a stand-up comedy act coming to campus. I actually have to go get ready for it right now so that’s all for the moment! More updates to come.

20120919-122242.jpg Digby Stuart welcome social with my girls Raleigh Chelsea and Liza

20120919-122354.jpg Newman flatmates… Plus me

20120919-122449.jpg glowing at the UV BOP

 BOP!

20120919-122552.jpg Chelsea Raleigh Sinead and Connor outside of bop

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laundry time…

Photo Frenzy

Today was probably the best day I’ve had here so far. All the international students “competed” in a big scavenger hunt called Photo Frenzy with destinations throughout the central London area. We split ourselves up into groups of eight and were given a camera for each group and instructed to take the most creative pictures with the group at the destinations on our sheet (which only had clues about the places to find, NOT directions). After of frantically grouping ourselves off into groups of eight, we were sent off ON OUR OWN to figure out the transportation systems and make it over to central London (which consisted of taking about two trains and the tube for a few stops). At least the school gave every student a free ticket to ride the public transportation all day! It was scary at first because we were on our own and the pace of people in London make us look like slowpokes since we stopped a lot to look at maps with intricate colored routes for tube/bus lines and stations. Needless to say, it was a bit overwhelming with all the people going off and on the public transportation systems and having to be stuck in the middle of all the hustle and bustle.My group consisted of me and two other girls from my school (Raleigh and Chelsea), along with my other new good friend Liza (from Australia!), and five other internationals each from a different country. Yes, we broke the rules and had nine in our group, but at least we were the most diverse! The other internationals were from Norway (Theo), France (Melanie), Dubai (Sonny?), Italy (Michaela), and the Netherlands (Renee)… pretty cool, huh? It was awesome getting to talk to all these different people about their experiences in college and living in general.  And I do have to give a big shout out to Michaela who led the way the entire time since she was somewhat familiar with the transportation system. We got a bit lost a few times but always found our way to where we were going.

Some of the destinations included Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar’s Square, and other main points in the city. It was amazing to actually stand next to these landmarks and places that I have only seen in a picture or on TV before.  Buckingham Palace was very pretty, but I’d love to go back to see the changing of the guards! Big Ben was definitely the most beautiful building ever… the architecture was unbelievable and it looked even bigger in real life. We got to see the London eye from across a river, but I’d love the chance to ride it sometime while I’m here!

As for the photo competition, we don’t know if our group won yet, (since we only had disposable cameras they won’t develop the film today), but our group did try to come up with some funny/unique poses. I had the idea of drawing the mustaches, and that seemed to be a hit! Also, some of the photos we took will probably end up on Roehampton’s website eventually. I’ll keep you posted on that!

So that’s a little about my day today. I am completely exhausted and really need some sleep. I’ve uploaded a few of my favorite pictures of the day but there will be plenty more on my Facebook! Check back soon!

Central London

Me and Chelsea at Buckingham Palace

 

Raleigh, Me, Liza

Does anyone know the time?

London Eye

First Few Days

I’ll try not to make this too long but I’ll try to update you on my first few days here. After unpacking in my room, the rest of the day was dedicated to downtime because they knew how tired all the international students would be. But we did have a gathering at the Uni’s pub at night, yes that’s right there is a pub on campus! I went with my UNCW friend Raleigh and Damon (my flat rep) introduced us to a bunch of people (since he’s so popular and all). The first night was definitely a lot of fun and I got to experience being legal to drink which was also something different for me, obviously. On Friday nights every week the pub hosts a big dance called “Bop” where students can dress up in fun outfits going with the theme of that week. The first one has a superhero theme… I was not prepared for themed outfits and we’ll have to improvise some costumes I guess!

The next day, and first full day here, was very busy. We had a long international student orientation where the advisors welcomed us and told us important information for registering for classes and other school related stuff. We also got a tour of the campus so now I have a better idea of where everything is. The campus is BEAUTIFUL by the way. I will be posting some pictures of the pretty greenery, lakes, and buildings we have here… it’s kind of crazy how we go to school here. After the tour, we FINALLY took a big group trip to Asda (the English version of Walmart), which was completely essential because I needed to get so much stuff. I had no toilet paper, towel, food… nothing! So I was extremely happy to go get some things to bring back to my flat. Asda was crazy busy and there was a lot of commotion as maybe 300 international students were wondering around trying to figure out what the best and cheapest options were in the store. Fun fact: they don’t have grape jelly here! It’s also called “jam” instead of jelly!

After our stressful time at Asda, I got back to the flat and was thrilled to be able to take a shower now that I had a towel… it was actually glorious. Then all the international students met up at an eatery on campus for a free dinner which consisted of various mystery finger food that looked like dumplings, sandwiches, and chips (which are “crisps” here). But the best part… free wine! Which we obviously HAD to take advantage of. Check out the picture below of the prettiest cupcake ever along with some lovely free white wine 🙂

We had another night out at the campus pub and met even more people. Everyone seems to keep getting nicer and nicer here and I love that I am now seeing some familiar faces when I walk around campus. I can’t wait until the regular English students get here so I can meet even more people!

Today was finally more of a relaxing day where they set up an information fair for the international students. I learned about the Student Union on campus and am considering writing for the school’s newspaper/magazine. I also talked to someone about getting a gym membership for the semester… it’s called “ROEactive” and is about a 5-10 minute walk from my flat. Not bad! After the information fair I finally had some downtime to relax in my room and write this to all of you. YAY.

More to come soon with pictures of campus, and a finalized schedule of what classes I’ll be taking!

Some English vocab for you all…

joggers – sweatpants

jumper – sweatshirt

knackered – really tired (slang word, somewhat inappropriate)

fit – hot (looks-wise)

tube – train

20120914-160740.jpgcupcakes and wine… what else do I need?

20120914-160748.jpgthemes for the Bop dances every friday at the pub on campus!

HELLOOOOO ROEHAMPTON!

FIRST POST FROM ENGLAND! This place is awesome. I can’t believe I’m actually here at Roehampton already. So far I have been extremely busy with welcome events for the international students and this is my first afternoon of downtime in two days! Okay so where to begin… I guess I’ll start with my flight. I ended up sitting next to two Norwegian women (I think) who spoke no English, so the TV screen in front of me was my buddy for the plane ride. The smart thing to do would have been to sleep the entire way, but the selection of movies I could pick from was pretty distracting and I ended up watching The Five Year Engagement (pretty good movie by the way). So overall, my flight went very well and we landed right on time at Heathrow. I finally found my way to the meet and greet service that Roehampton set up for the international students… it wasn’t easy considering I had to lug around two huge, heavy suitcases, a big duffel bag and a backpack through an underground train and two elevators (which the call “lifts” here). I was actually sweating by the time I made it to the meet and greet terminal, but had about two hours of downtime while more students kept arriving. Then it was off to campus!

We took a 45 minute bus ride to Roehampton’s campus and dropped the group of us off at the International Welcome Room where they began to hand out “accommodation” (their version of housing) keys and information, along with bedding and sandwiches for lunch. I basically grabbed my key and rushed out the door in excitement to see my new room. Luckily, my building was a minute walk from the welcome room, and my “Flat Rep” (AKA “RA” or Residence Assistant in the US) helped me with my bags (thank goodness). My Flat Rep’s name is Damon and he is a post-grad student (the American equivalent of a graduate student) here. Damon is studying poetry and used to be a dancer… he’s pretty crazy and extremely outgoing. EVERYONE knows him here on campus… it’s insane. But I’m glad to have a “keen” (or popular) Flat Rep because I can already tell he’ll be a lot of fun. Damon was super welcoming and so excited to help me because I was his first “Fresher” to arrive in the building! “Freshers” are what they call at the incoming first-year students at Uni in England (Uni means college/short for university). It’s very funny to be called a fresher since I’m used to now having somewhat of upperclassmen status at UNCW. But I don’t mind it because all the attention is on us for the next two weeks.

As for some details on my accommodation… I live in a building called Shaw in block E. When you walk in the door for my flat, there is a long hallway with doors on both sides. The first door to the right is a common area with a table, chairs, and a couch, and a kitchen with plenty of drawers, and brand new kitchen appliances including a fridge, freezer, microwave, oven/stove, and toaster… not bad right!? My room is the next door on the right in the hallway, right next to the kitchen. I have an individual room with my own mini bathroom as well (sink, shower, and toilet included!). I love the fact that one of my walls is painted a bright green color because it makes the room feel a little more homey (my walls at home are all lime green!). The bedding they gave us isn’t the best, but I’ll make do with what I have so far and maybe buy a nice soft blanket since it gets pretty cold in here at night.

I was the only one living in the flat for the first two nights, but another international student just got here today and is living in a room down the hall. I feel bad, but I already forget her name (it’s so hard to remember everyone I’ve been meeting)! She is very nice though and is actually from Seville, Spain. The other four people living in my flat are going to be regular British students and will be arriving on Sunday, so I’m extremely excited to meet them because it’s really quiet around here! Most of the international students I have been meeting are from America or Norway (surprisingly enough). I’m finding that a lot of American students came from California schools and a few from Hawaii! Its definitely a big difference from who I’m used to being around. However, I have been hanging out a lot with three girls from UNCW (Raleigh, Chelsea, and Megan) along with a girl from Australia named Eliza. So far I’ve had no trouble making friends!

There is so much more I want to talk about with my first two days but I think I may take a nap and this post is already too long (sorry, I like to write a lot!). More to come soon!

20120914-141953.jpg my very own bathroom… the shower is small, but it’s great I have it all to myself!

20120914-142004.jpglove this green wall!

20120914-142011.jpgdesk space

20120914-142017.jpg

20120914-142030.jpgthe hallway right when you walk into the entrance of my flat. The kitchen is on the right, and the next door after that on the right is my room!

20120914-142038.jpgkitchen table/common area for the 6 of us

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20120914-142100.jpgmy building Shaw

20120914-142108.jpgthe view when you walk outside of my building

Airport madness

Okay. I made it to the Newark airport. Deep breath. After circling the place maybe 3 and a half times in the car with my parents, we finally found the right terminal and all that… But man is this airport confusing! I’m having so many mixed feelings right now that I can even describe them all. There are constant butterflies in my stomach. I think it’s a mixture of excitement, nerves, anticipation, anxiety, and happiness. And a little sad from saying bye to my parents (love you guys!!). I’m super excited to be posting this from my phone too since I downloaded the WordPress app today wooo. So this is it. Here I go. Barely a clue what to expect but I’m ready for this adventure. I’ll miss all you American folks a lot. Keep in touch with me please 🙂 look out for a post when I’m landed safely at Heathrow airport in London (and I’m not thinking about the fact that I’m flying on 9/11… I’m fine!). Plus the people on my flight look extremely normal; maybe I’ll even make a friend since there are a few kids my age probably in my same situation. More to come soon! Bye America!

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My Pre-Departure Post

Hello to everyone reading this blog! I’m still at home in NJ right now preparing for my three month excursion to London… and it’s finally starting to hit me that I’m leaving in two days.  Once I actually started packing today, the experience became so much more real. I have to choose which few pairs of jeans I want to take with me as I stare blankly at my jam-packed closet filled with maybe 15 pairs… this packing challenge will be the hardest of them yet! Besides the overwhelming amount of packing decisions I need to make in the next 48 hours, I’m starting to get really excited for this upcoming experience. While there are a lot of aspects of my trip that are still unknown (classes, roommates?), I’m finally ready to just get over to England and figure it all out when I get there.  Wish me luck!