So today I’ll be taking you back to the day before I left the luscious greens for the concrete jungle!
The night before I left was one of the most exciting, yet terrifying nights of my life to date! Lying awake in bed pondering what was in wait for me, would I like London? Would I be able to make friends easily? Would my course be too intense? All questions that I would soon find out the answers too.
With the morning came panic, stress and rushing around like headless chickens! My flight was due to take of at 7am! Whoever designs these flights clearly have a screw or two loose! Any how, we had to be up at 4am in order to be at the airport in plenty of time. People kept asking me “Are you going to London by yourself?!” and “How are you going to cope?!” My answers were short and simple, “No”…and “I have no idea!”. I’m not entirely insane I was not leaving by myself, my boyfriend, Thomas, came with me for my first flight over! As we boarded the plane, I got increasingly more excited about the new journey I was embarking on, this was going to be the first time I had lived by myself, I had total independence and it felt really good!
As the plane was landing, the sun was rising over Gatwick Airport, the second of many arrivals I was yet to make. I can remember thinking “OMG! I have to take a picture of this, it’s beautiful!” to the realizing that my phone was switched off! As Thomas and I stepped off the plane into this strange airport that wasn’t yet familiar, all I could think about was people! There were so. Many. People! This was my first realization, London was going to be busy!
After a bus, two trains and a ten minute wander due to being lost, we finally found the hotel that we would be staying in for the first night! As I was not due to get my induction into halls until the next day, we thought it would be good to go the day before so I could settle and prepare! This was one of the best and worst decisions I have ever made! Firstly it was good because it allowed me to walk about Twickenham high street and get a feel for the area that I would be living in for the next four years, but it was also a horrendous idea, as it gave me time to realize that I would soon be on my own, that Thomas would soon be leaving!
The next morning was induction day! I had to go onto campus to get my photo taken, receive my lecture outlay and get the keys for my new room! All very nerverackingly exciting! Now I am not going to lie, walking around this campus trying to find where the hell I was supposed to be was extremely confusing, considering that it was bigger than my entire home town!… Okay, so maybe not bigger, but that day it definitely felt like it! After struggling for a good half hour to locate my halls…which as it happens were right next to reception, I was finally given my keys! So Thomas and I walk into the main entrance of Old House, and we were met by a woman called Lorraine, a woman that we would all grow to fear and dislike, thus rendering her with the name “Lorraine the pain”. The second person we were greeted by was a 5″2 equivalent of buddy the elf! This girl had too much happy going on for that time of the day! Her name was Laura, and she was to be our senior res, who lived in the halls with us! Now, not only were we met by her… we were met by three flights of huge ass steps! Bearing in mind people that I have the entire contents of my wardrobe in one suitcase, and the entire contents of my makeup box in the other! So after a long, hard, struggle up the flights of steps, dragging the suitcases in toe, we finally reached my floor, and I was exhausted! God only knows how Thomas felt and he was the one carrying the suitcases!
After getting the keys and being shown where everything was in the halls I got to properly view my room for the first time. The contents of my room were minimal, a bed, a desk, a swingy chair, a beside cabinet and a sink. Looking around my room, that was so bare, with its off white walls and grey door, it felt like a prison cell. I sat on my bed and started to cry. This was potentially one of the lowest points of the year for me, I started to question whether or not I had I done the right thing? Did I make the right choice? Was I ever going to get used to this? Only time would tell!
Sooner than I had anticipated it, Thomas had to leave for his flight home, and to say I was devastated to see him leave was an understatement! I walked him back to the train station at strawberry hill, how cute is that name btw? Anyway, we had ten minutes to wait before his train was due to arrive, we just stood there, waiting. This was the longest and shortest ten minutes of my life, so much dread was going through me, the kind that you can feel at the bottom of your stomach, and I just could not stop crying, I didn’t want him to leave. As the train pulled up I started to panic, what was I going to do without my best friend by my side? How was I going to cope with everyday life not seeing him? As he let go and stepped onto the train, I could see the tears forming in his eyes and that was it, a torrential flood of tears gushed down my cheeks. He found a seat at the window so he could wave to me as the train left, and that was it. He was gone. I was alone on the platform crying like an idiot. It was at that point that I realized how stupid I looked, I mean it’s not like he was dying! So I said to myself “Dana pull your shit together, you have gotten through tougher things than this!” I wiped my face and made my way back to the halls!
On getting back there I decided I needed a good old cup of tea! In the kitchen we had our own cupboards with a key to lock it, something we would all come to realize was extremely beneficial! It was at this point that I also realized, that tea in England is AWFUL!!! I found myself being unable to finish the cup, something I NEVER EVER do! The view from the kitchen window of old house was really something to admire, I will say that, and I spent many a morning simply staring at the sky and the trees, it reminded me of home! Something else I realized quite quickly was that I love trees, you don’t notice them often when they surround you all the time, but when they were gone, I missed them tuns!
The first person I met that lived in halls with us, aside from Laura, was a girl called Jess…She was nice to start off, very loud, very confident. This would be the beginning of the end between us. It was an extremely love-hate relationship that we formed…we loved to hate each other I guess you could say! Now this is where it gets great! Walking down the hallway after speaking to Jess I see this girl, red t-shirt with something printed on the front of it, black leggings and big old tears falling down her cheeks! “Are you okay I said to her?” “No.” She quivered back to me, I asked her if she needed a hug and she just nodded her head, so stood there the two of us hugging, and crying, she tells me that she just said goodbye to her mum and dad, I told her I had just said goodbye to my boyfriend. This ladies and gentlemen was the moment I met Paige Nightingale! This girl, is the sassiest person I have ever met, bitch could cut you with her liner and her tongue can be just as sharp, but if she likes you, she’s a sweetheart! She would become one of my very best friends, and still is to this day!
After a while I had met a girl called Orla, we became quite friendly and we decided to go and get our freshers bands, for all the activities, that I was unaware, I would not attend most of! Worst £60 I have ever spent! Anyway, standing in line, waiting, Orla and I are introduced, by Laura, to this girl in a white t-shirt and a pair of shorts. Now all I can remember thinking is this bitch is wearing shorts, in September whilst it’s raining, is she insane? This girl was called Phoebe, and we later learned that she was a weightlifter, tbh that still doesn’t explain why she always wore shorts and to this day I still don’t know how she was never cold!
This is Phoebe and I together after she beat everyone at varsity! The latter is phoebe on her own being phoebe!
After standing in line for what felt like forever, Laura appeared again with another girl, darkest hair I’ve ever seen and a tan that any one of us would kill to have! If you’re having trouble picturing her, think of Moira from Emmerdale and that’s exactly who she looks like! So she seemed shy and withdrawn at first, but this kid turned out to be one of the ballsiest bitches I have ever met, and she was to become another of my very best friends! She also, just happened to end up living in the room next door to mine, and she was from Ireland too! An instant connection was made! We later found out that we attended the same clubs on the same nights, and went to the same concerts on the same dates, yet never met! Do you see a theme occurring here? I always seem to be drawn to the biggest personalities!
After a very long very eventful day, Laura called a group meeting so that we could all introduce ourselves and get to know one another a bit better, this proved to be useful as I am terrible at remembering names! After this I think we played a few ice breakers, I’m not entirely sure, this was over a year ago now, so forgive me if I don’t remember all the details! One by one we all started to disperse back to our rooms, or go to dinner, upon returning to my own room, I opened my mouth to tell Thomas what I had learned about everyone, to realize he wasn’t there. Rather than getting sad though, I pulled out my laptop and we Skyped for a few hours. This was the longest day ever and I was exhausted, so eventually I got into bed and it was the most uncomfortable mattress you could ever lie on! It was like lying on uneven rocks!!! It took a long while to adjust to this mattress let me tell you that! However it did not take long for me to fall asleep that night, I was so very tired! Thus ending my first day as a Fresher!
This is where I am going to leave this excerpt, I feel like I rambled a little bit, but I want you all to get a taste for what it’s actually like going to uni and leaving people you love behind. It’s not all the freedom, independence and extensive partying that most people make it out to be! Whilst it is extremely rewarding and a brilliant experience, it can also be very hard at times. Knowledge is power after all!
live long and prosper my dears,
All my love
– D xo