I have been here for a week and a half now and I cannot believe how quickly it all passed. But I have a feeling that’s what it’s going to be like for this entire school year. I came to the UK with my mom, she was only here for the first week, but was here helping me move in. While all my other flat mates were moving in and staying in their new rooms, I was back in the nice hotel with my mommy. I’m sure it made me look like the spoiled American, but the truth of the matter is that I knew saying goodbye to my mom was going to be painfully hard and I wanted to spend as much time as I could with her. Over all I think my mom and I did pretty damn good. This was her first time in the UK so I wanted her to check out the sites, and see what it is that I love so much about this place.
While I know the majority of people who are going to be reading this will be my family and friends, I figured if some random person about to go study in the UK stumbled onto this blog, I hope this part helps. Here is the break down of registering into a University, at least my University.
I arrived on the 15th, a Saturday. The 15th and the 16th was the whole move in weekend for pretty much everyone. We had all already signed our lease agreement online and had printed that out, so we brought that printed copy to the building, along with my passport, and the officials gave us my key. In theory, I would have been moving in right at that moment. Many people I saw dragging their luggage around, sometimes even backtracking while having to carry everything. That’s where my mom’s hotel room came in handy. We delivered my luggage one day at a time, which was an event just within itself. A 50 pound bag, and with a bus and a ride on the tube made me into an almost-not-really Londoner.
So for me, this part is the weird part. Back at Arizona State University, and I believe this will be the typical normal for the majority of the states, I would register for classes at least two months before actually starting school. I would already know what I’m taking, when I’m taking it, and it most part I would even have my syllabus a month ahead of time. Here I basically went into it having a general idea, and having already placed my request in for what I wanted to take. I’m majoring in Comparative Literature. I knew that everyone who was majoring in it had to take a core class and that would be taken for the entire year. I also understood that I had my choice of another class. One for the first semester, one for the second. And for those of you who are good at math, yes, that means I’m only taking two classes. And that’s me going full time. Many of friends were ‘jealous’ or said I was ‘lucky’. Bullshit! I know what two classes means. It’s like when a teacher lets your use your notes on a test, it only means the is going to be so hard that you would fail without it. That how I see it. Two classes? That means those two classes are going to make me their little prison bitch.
But I digress.
I had fill out an online question and answer, which was my pre-enrollment. I was then given a very specific and small time slot to go in and fully enroll. Still not the place where I would find out where what my classes were, when my classes were, and where my classes were going to be. While I am all for being lazy, I’m not the kind to sit around if I have a question. So my mom and I hunted for the office for my department. This is when I found out that they grouped the English (and all the it entails) with all the other arts in one building. Now that’s a whole other kind of rant, and it’s not anything against art, but I’m sure if there are any artists out there, they would understand and not want to be grouped with us English peeps. But that’s alright, I’ve now made it my mission to make the English department so awesome, we get our own building called the English building. Not “Arts”.
The very nice woman at the English office told me that I would find out more info once the head guy sent out an email. I did get my emails and it turned out I had to go to an induction meeting. It sounds intimidating and it was intimidating. It was at the head guy’s office. Proff O. He seemed really nice and he laughed at my jokes, so I like anyone who laughs at my jokes. Once I showed up though, I realized that there are only 3 of us in the program, and there are about 10 professors who are there to give us lesson and help us.
Well then. If that’s not a reason to freak the f*ck out, then I don’t know what is. Oh wait, I do. My syllabus. There were moments when we were reading over everything that we had to do, and I thought ‘yea, I’ve got this. Just wait till the feminist week and Marxist week, I’ll blow your minds!’ Then there were other times when I wanted to slip under the table and cry thinking that I’m out of my league here. But then I realized that’s good though. If I was going into something that I full know, that would be easy, and not push me, then what would be the whole point of this. To quote Glee, “If you’re not scared, that means you’re not sticking your head out far enough”. I must look like a giraffe then.
At this point my mommy has gone home and I’m still wondering how the hell am I going to make friends? I wasn’t worried about making friends when I first came here, I’m pretty social. And I’m not really worried now, I was just planning on meeting people in my classes. And Then I found out that there are only three of us dude A, and lady E. I didn’t even meet lady E. There’s only three of us and she didn’t even make it to the induction meeting. There is a brilliant humor about that.
I’ll make friends, just as I will kick these classes and dissertation’s ass. It’ll happen in time, that’s how life works out.