It is almost coming to the end of my first year here at QMUL, where I have been nervously anticipating writing this article.
While I wish that the days of being a fresh, new uni student hadn’t passed by so quickly, I am beyond excited to start my second year. But just like a segment of Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Thank you Notes’, there are so many things to be thankful for!
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I was given, such as being able to attend a prestigious university for starters, and being able to the university through the paper. I have managed to go through weeks of readings, assignments, and lectures without physically breaking down. Most importantly, I have been incredibly thankful for the people who, throughout my seminars, have subconsciously broken the barriers of fake smiles and small talk, so as to make me feel more comfortable.
Like all first experiences, university was a tough experience too. At first, I could almost feel a dark cloud of misery hanging over my head. Speaking to new people who traveled from all corners of London, who had different dialects and spoke various languages opened my eyes to the diversity of people that QMUL housed. It made me miss the routine of people I saw on a daily basis, until I realised we all were on the same path of discovery. Whether commuting to university, or live on campus, being a part of the QMUL life was definitely something worth participating in.
University has provided me with the freedom that I knew I couldn’t get elsewhere. Moreover, the surreal atmosphere made me forget all the things I missed. Every day brings the smell of chicken and chips as I walk from Mile-end station, across the road to the smell of coffee beans mixed with the goodness of spices and Peri-Peri sauce from Nandos. The sound of frustrated grunts, noisy phone calls and bike bells help me cherish every minute of my hour-long journey, and when the sadness that would creep into me every time I sent a ‘miss you’ message to my best friend hit me, I knew that these are all the struggles of being a university student.
And yet, getting to be a first-year in a university of my very own choice has taught me to first accept that you can either choose to reminisce about your past, or you can work towards a happier future, especially towards the future of your time at QMUL.
While I believe that my second-year and definitely my last two years will be just as exceptional, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic of my school years, of how I am almost 19 and how the people I miss most are growing up too.
Like all experiences, my first year is almost at an end. So as you wake your sleep deprived selves in the morning, know that you will not be the nostalgic, free spirit, first-year always. But in fact (as cliché as it sounds) your time at QMUL will be over before you even know it.