Flashback to my first year in the UK: obstacles and difficulties.

Hi there! How have you been? I just went for a walk around my neighbourhood. This is my second time stepping out of my house after a month of staying at home. It’s so refreshing! I also bought some groceries in the supermarket with my mum. As you might have known, our government has loosened some restrictions under the movement control order (MCO), but we still have to wear masks and implement social distancing. I really look forward to the day when all things get back to normal. However, I knew that the UK government has extended the nationwide lockdown for another three weeks, hopefully this would help further flatten the curve. Stay strong UK!

Last friday, my friend has asked me to share my university life with his younger siblings, since they are pretty uncertain about where and which university to go to. As I scrolled my photo album and shared my experience to them, the memories came flooding back.

I still can remember the first day I landed in the UK. That was my first visit to Europe and the first time I took such a long flight (14 hours of flight). I was so nervous and unfamiliar with the English speaking environment, and I have no friends there. I need to pluck up my courage to talk to the student ambassadors who picked us up and try to make friends with other students. During the first week in the UK, I had to buy some necessities such as groceries, kettle, hangers, duvet and pillow. The only thing that I can trust is Google map, as I always get lost in the town. That was indeed an uneasy week for me.

You know, living on your own means that you have to manage food yourselves. It was a disaster every time I cooked my meals— I burned my hand on a pan, nearly cut my fingers, forgot to turn off the stove… And due to my poor cooking, I always eat my meals together with ketchup, to cover uo the weird taste of my food, haha!  I so much regret that I didn’t learn cooking before I came to the UK, but now my cooking skill is getting better. Look at those photos below, those are the pizzas that I burnt, and the last two pizzas are the most recent pizzas that I baked. Can you see my improvement? I can now cook for myself, but the food may be not tasty enough to share with my friends, haha!

Sometimes, you have to cope with the bad things that happened on you. For example, I lost my bag on Stag Hill campus last year. I woke up late that morning, when I dashed to the laboratory, there was apparently no lockers available. Hence, I simply put my bag at the corner and entered the lab. When I went out after the three-hour-lab session, I was so anxious that I couldn’t find my bag! My coat and water bottle were there, but my bag was stolen. My bag is a laptop bag, but luckily I didn’t bring my laptop on that day (I think the thief stole my bag because that he/she thought that there’s a laptop in it). Inside my bag, there were 50 pounds, a notebook, and all my lecture notes. It costs me a lot. 50 pounds equal to 2 weeks of living expenses, and more importantly, I lost all my lecture notes, meaning I have to print out and make notes again. I went to the security office but they couldn’t do anything other than waiting for someone to return the bag to the office. I was desperate at that time.

I posted this message on social media to see if someone could return the bag to me.
The following day after I lost my bag. I used a recycle bag to put my stuff.

However, people grow through experience and so do I. It may be a bit difficult to adapt a new country, a new university, new people and new language in the beginning, but when you look back to those obstacles/difficulties you have overcome, you will definitely feel accomplished. To be honest, my parents were fairly worried about me at that time, but now they think that I am mature and reliable enough to manage my life. I believe that this is the largest benefit of studying abroad: to become independent and be responsible for your own life. I hope that my experience could give you some thoughts and also give you the confidence to start your university life.

Take care and stay healthy!

See you next week!