As a new student to LSE on the General Course, technically I’m a fresher again. It’s different coming from a small liberal arts school as a third year student and having to start over for a second time at a new university. While it’s a bit more laid back this time around and exciting in its own way, it has been fun to live vicariously through the real freshers’ experiences of the first weeks of university and remember what it’s like to be a first year once more.
Coming to LSE has been an adjustment in a new way. For one thing, I’m here from outside the UK, and although much of the culture here isn’t unfamiliar, calling central London home has been a new experience itself and it’s exciting. I’m part of a huge city and a larger university as well. There are more students (way more compared to the 1,500 total students back at my college) and a plethora of events – from public lectures to first week’s Freshers’ Fair and RAG parties – that would never be possible at my home institution.
But the main reason why I’m here (why we’re all here, I assume) – the academics. As a student studying across disciplines, I’m delighted but confused that registration for courses is much later than it is back at home. I love the idea of trying out classes and my Google Calendar has been full of lectures to sit in on. On the other hand, I’m nervous about choosing the right classes. And thinking about exams and the grading system is one thing I have to keep in mind because I haven’t taken an exam since I started college. I’ve mainly written research papers, so I think I’m okay with the essays that come my way. But I’ve got to be on my A-game when it comes to sitting three hour exams at the end of the year.
And since I am in the heart of London, I’m looking forward to working hard and playing hard, as I’ve noticed they say here. There are so many things to see and hear every moment of the day – even if it’s just the traffic outside my dorm room. I’ve visited so many places already – London is so big but at the same time, I feel like I could keep walking and see all of it, even if my legs were burning by the end of it all. I have so many things that I hope to cross off my to-do list while I’m here and it’s nice to know that I will be busy for a while and will have so much to see.
Even a nearly a month later, being in London still doesn’t feel real. I thought that with the end of summer and anticipation of moving to a new country for the year, it would be harder to adapt, but everything has turned out all right. Although all the movies and television I’ve seen have all prepared me for all the sights and sounds, experiencing it all in person is very different.
But for now, another week calls. Until the next adventure…