It’s officially the Christmas break now, and the first semester has come to a close. My next venture into university will be for my exams in January. It only seems like yesterday that I arrived in Leeds, with trepidation in my heart, and excitement for this new part of my journey to begin. Now, close to 4 months later, everything has changed and yet it feels like nothing has. I no longer feel trepidation but the thought of going to university still excites me.
Now, everything is easy. I have a group of friends who are like-minded and whom I love. The learning pattern is engraved into my head, and I know exactly how to approach an assignment. A lot of the credit for that has to be given to the Leeds Beckett staff. My tutors have been really helpful, and the library staff have really helped me too. Being an international student, Harvard referencing was something that was completely new to me. I knew I had to learn it but there was so much pressure associated with it. I went to the library and asked for help and to say that they were helpful would be an understatement. The advice team gave me a few general corrections and then she asked me to book an appointment with the referencing team which I did. The next day, I sat down and discussed my bibliography with them, and since then I’ve found referencing easy.
One of the greatest myths that was busted for me was that because people would be from different cultures and different backgrounds, we wouldn’t get along or would not have that much in common. I realised very soon that that was not true. People have different experiences which shape them to be the way they are, but in the end, there will always be commonalities. I’ve been able to make great friends with people from all over the world here at Leeds Beckett.
Semester one was so much more than assignments. It was getting to know one another, laughter, karaoke, long drives to meet clients, sharing a glass of wine after seminars, and hilarious group chats. It has only been 4 months, but I have created memories that I will cherish forever.
One of the most fun memories I have actually had happened quite recently. It was our last day of class technically speaking and our professors got us some soft drinks and mince pies (I am still confused why they are called that when they are sweet!). Then, the funniest thing happened. Mariah Carey “All I want for Christmas is you” began playing on the speakers and before you know it, the entire class was belting out the lyrics and dancing together. It was magical to say the least.
If I could have gone back in time to when I was leaving home, I wish I would have brought more food from home. Recreating mom’s cooking without mom’s magic is something that is rather difficult. But on a more serious note, I wish I would have been better prepared for the weather. Winter in the UK can be cold and rainy. The need for hot chocolate and Disney movies grows by the hour but thankfully the holidays are here now so I can indulge into my cravings.
This semester began when the leaves were changing colour, very similar to the tides changing in my life. Now it has ended with the peace and tranquillity of barren trees with the clouds of snow looming on the horizon, much like the peace and comfort which has entered my life with the clouds of the next semester creeping up on the border. I am no longer anxious though, because I know I am surrounded by people who are kind and supportive and often that is already half the battle won.