Over the last year and a half, Guildford very quickly became my home away from home. In my first year I missed living in a big city so much that trips to London were frequent and probably where most of my money went (I would definitely suggest getting a railcard as it saves you so much). I soon realized though, that campus is so lively I missed the city less and less. There’s always something going on around campus throughout the week, but my personal favorite is the Thursday food market (yes, it’s better than it sounds).
Every Thursday they host a fresh food market with all the fruits and veggies your weekly shop needs- be sure to look for all the exotic fruits they keep! But the bakery tables are so much more tempting with cakes, pies, breads and pastries always available- their almond twist is my all time favorite. If that wasn’t enough food stalls are set up in the courtyard selling Chinese, Greek and Jamaican food!! No matter how picky an eater you are being hungry on campus isn’t even an option. A similar, but larger, market takes place in town on the High Street every weekend and I take the ultimate joy in buying my flowers from the old ladies who set up their shop (it’s daffodil season and I couldn’t possibly be more excited).
Food and flavor is such a big part of the Indian identity it genuinely worries students who move to the UK for the first time. I wouldn’t worry about that in Guildford’s colourful food scene, but there will never be a replacement for Maggi on a rainy day 😊
Last Friday the Guildford School of Acting hosted an Asian Heritage night to appreciate Asian culture on campus and in the UK. Seeing students in kurtas and saris brought a whole new level of comfort and familiarity for everyone seated in the auditorium. Music students from all across Asia sang in their mother tongue encouraging people to join in wherever they could. Other students danced while some recited original written pieces about how no matter how far your away you live and explore, nothing will ever equate to the warmth of being home and being immersed in the culture that grew you. Hearing Hindi and Gujarati being spoken after months of English being the default language made all of us smile so wide.
If it wasn’t obvious, this week and its sudden cold has me missing Mumbai heat and vibrancy. To end on a bittersweet note, missing home and family will never entirely disappear, but there is so much you can do to make university your second home and never stop sharing your culture with everyone around you.