September 04, 2014

Freshers Week 2.0

Tomorrow is the day that lectures begin and with that Orientation Week is officially over and what a week it's been. I've already met an amazing group of people and have been able to finally have the Fresher's Week I never had three years ago. From some cheeky cocktails at The Split Crow, to an obligatory round of Ring of Fire to intellectual discussions in Your Father's Moustache. Seriously, the bars here have the weirdest names! It's been a pretty awesome week.

The daytime has been somewhat more tame with me mainly focusing on sorting out bank accounts, registering for classes and of course, catching up on The Great British Bake-off. It's definitely been a little weird being surrounded by all the Freshmen. They are, of course, away from home for the first time, at the very beginning of their University adventure whereas I am three years in and am nearing the end. While I'm excited to be here in Canada, it's a very different excitement to what the Freshmen are experiencing. Besides, even if it was the same, there is no way I would be able to retain the levels of energy, excitement and enthusiasm that the Canadians can without at least a few shots before hand.

I also feel like I've learnt so much already. Most, if not all, of the friends I have made so far are from Europe and for the first time in my entire life I actually feel European. Us Brits have far more in common with the mainland than we think we do. I feel like the shared language with North America helps to disguise what are some fairly significant differences in culture while the language barriers across Europe disguise our similarities. When I found out about all the insanely strict rules about alcohol consumption here, it was my fellow Europeans who empathised. It's also made me want to really try harder at learning German because everyone's English is so impressive even if they themselves try to say it isn't. Hopefully, my Advanced German class should point me in the right direction and maybe not before too long I'll be brave enough to speak German with two of my fellow exchangers, Carolin and Daniel.

As I've already mentioned, tomorrow I start lectures and I shall have to be up bright and early at the crack of 9am. Got to get back into the swing of things for the first time since about May but in actual fact I can't wait to get started. Knowing me, I'll probably end up doing more this year than I did the entire three years in Bangor but either way it doesn't really matter. After a year focussed on my dissertation, the pressure's off. I can just relax and enjoy learning something purely for the sake of learning.

By the way, I will put my hands up and admit that I am really bad for forgetting to take photos but I do promise to try and improve in the future. For my own sake as much as for this blog. For now though, here are a few pictures from my favourite night from the past week.


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