The five stages of being an international student at RoHo
So how’s Brexit?
Leaving home can be daunting, especially if you are moving to a whole new country or, for some of us, continent. Away from your family, friends, pets, and of course your favourite cuisine, life can seem hard.
No matter how many YouTube videos and university hauls you watch, you can never be entirely prepared for moving abroad. Especially when you need to pack your life into a single suitcase under 20 kilograms.
Three years into Politics and I just about understand the political concepts and current affairs. However, I've got no idea how to find a job or start a life without getting more depth. Being a foreigner and especially from a small country without that much weight in the British politics does not make it any easier.
As an international student at RoHo you'll inevitably face a number of challenges, so here are the 5 stages of living on the island no one prepared you for.
Arriving in the UK
When you first arrive on the island, you have no other choice but to adapt to the freezing cold weather, the constant rain and the multiple hills Egham has.
Don't forget the unfortunate few of us that spent at least a year living in the deserted place called Kingswood.
Re-evaluating your life choices post-freshers
The British drinking culture can be quite overwhelming at first.
Waking up with a banging VK hangover after your first SU night might make you reevaluate some of your decisions. The first few weeks might seem like great fun, but don't forget to stock up on chocolates and coffee for the first wave of deadlines in the new educational system.
Don't! We all go through it. Soon you will develop the skills to turn a sentence into a thousand words for your essay. And don't worry, everyone has questioned what a toad in the hole is.
Useful tip I wish I'd known before I freaked out: Never buy books before you have checked your online resources. Carrying 25 kilograms across the only book store in the area that sells PIR books (London) was not worth it.
We have all seen things that we will never forget; the half a rabbit on the side of the path or campus' wild fox.
For those of us living off campus, the trek to uni in the morning can easily turn into an adventure. When you don't have the luxury of bringing your car all the way from the other side of the world, you'll inevitably get lost trying to navigate all the short cuts that force you to explore Englefield Green's wildlife.
The same old questions you have to endure every single day will definitely make your regret your decision just a little.
'Has anyone ever told you that you have an accent? ', 'So what do you think about Brexit?', 'Are you working?'
Oh. I feel you. It’s not enough that we have all taken a few thousand loans and we are working part-time. England is not a cheap place to live and definitely not the easiest place to get a job. Working 20 hours a week while writing a dissertation and finishing 3 essays, 1 presentation and a few briefing papers is a struggle.
Adjusting to the boot camp conditions
You have no other choice but to cross a few forests and climb a hill just to be able to do your weekly grocery shopping.
It only took me three years to get used to the agonising pain that is carrying two Tesco bags up Egham Hill. This is a work out on itself, so at least I saved the money I'd otherwise spend on a gym membership.
The final, and best, stage of living in the UK. One day, you'll have (nearly) everything figured out.
And if that is not enough, as you know we have this superman life where you have a double identity: two homes, two countries, two languages. But in the end, we become ‘citizens of the world’. No luggage and no home just living for the moment.
So, you try to avoid the things that make you settle. Until you meet the one to share a cup of tea with.