Pia-Leena's blog posts for 2014

Time of Your Life - First Days in the UK

Sep

17

So, now I'm finally here.

After years and years of wishing to get a chance to study abroad, I finally arrived in England on a very sunny Sunday. I've been here for four days now, but it already feels like a second home. The people are so polite, and the Sussex campus is such a lively, pulsating place with a lot of events and activities. I've learnt so much already, and enjoyed my time. But naturally, there have been moments of confusion too. Like what? Well, let me tell you.

 

MOST POLITE PEOPLE I'VE EVER MET

When I was leaving to the UK, several people told me to be two times more polite than anywhere else in Europe. I remember agreeing to this advice, but the reality caught me off-guard. I wasn't expecting this amount of smiles and open-armed welcome. For example, after I got to Sussex from London with two Canadian law students, a random nice man came up and offered to lead us to the campus and to the Meeting House. He also helped with the impressive amount of bags we had with us.

Finally, I got my keys and opened the door to my new home - and got so much help to get there by several nice people. It really came handy, since British people have a weird way of counting floors. They told me my room was on second floor, but I found my room from the third floor. Seems that the British don't count the "ground floor" as a floor at all. The more you know, I guess.

 

FIRE IN THE HALL!

You know what really surprised me? The amount of fire doors in every British building. Every Sussex building has an impressive amount of fire doors. Everywhere. Several of them. Door after door after door. When you're going somewhere, you have to push your way through at least four of them. This is of course a good thing, but so unfamiliar.

Also, the British take fire really seriously. In my second morning living here, the fire alarm started blaring in our house. I got up all bleary-eyed and met my very tired American neighbour at the first time too, when we both opened our doors in our night clothes. Talk about first impressions!

And for ten minutes, every person from our building came out and waited until the residence people checked everything was alright. The zombie group of tired students outside in their pajamas - and one girl with her wet hair, since her showering time had been interrupted - were quite a sight.

 

BRIGHT BRIGHTON

Naturally, I've also visited Brighton via a Student Union organized tour. It was amazing, and I met few good friends on that trip! It's been sunny and warm for all of my first days, while people at my home country have even had minus degrees! Induction week have been filled with a lot of information and new people, but I already feel like I'm enjoying every moment, despite the occasional confusion - and endless fire doors.

What can I say? Fireworks, London, interesting courses, parties and more friends...I'm loving every minute of my fresher's week. Today, I even bought a Sussex hoodie to wear on the campus and joined a lot of societies in the Fresher's fair. Even if't been only four days, I already can tell that term will be one of the most memorable times of my life.

And of course, that's all I could have hoped for.