In a matter of weeks, thousands of students from all over the world will storm England’s colleges and universities, bringing their big dreams, high expectations and overly packed suitcases. For many students when they start studying in England this will be their first time attending higher education and perhaps also their first time living on their own.
Ever since the email conformation landed in my inbox, I’ve felt beyond excited and scared to death by what’s to come. In October I enroll my first year at university in a country I’ve visited only once in my life, in the midst of one of Britain’s biggest political changes in modern history. I am intrigued to see what the next three years will bring but only as I’m watching live broadcasts of BBC news on my computer at home, I can already tell that my time in the Government department will surely bring interesting debates and an insight in the current political climate.
As you might tell, I am not British myself nor is English my native language. I was born and raised in the capital of Sweden, the country also known by the name of ”lagom”. If you haven’t heard the term before it’s worth Googling, what you’ll find might be the key in understanding the people of the long, forest packed country in the north who blessed the world with IKEA. Moving to the UK and studying in England is a major turning point in my life since collecting student debts in England was never part of the agenda until just recently. You see, my initial plan for this autumn never included a spot at an undergrad programme in England and especially not after its people voted for Brexit a few months back. But thanks to an energetic and inspiring advisor, I went through the process and got myself accepted to a bachelor programme of International Relations and Politics at University of Essex.
In less than a month, me and my bags will head abroad with a new adventure, studying in England, ahead of us. They will be packed with loads of stuff and some of it will never be used even once during my time at campus. Some of it will hopefully come in handy and most of it are things that make me feel like home. Things I’ve collected during my childhood but also things from my past two gap years; while living the independent lifestyle of finding a job and an own apartment, building up a new social network in a new city far from home. These two years went by really fast but they taught me so much about myself and what I’m capable of. Taking some years off and trying out different jobs after finishing Upper Secondary School might sound foreign to some of you, but where I’m from in Sweden, this is very common among students. Many young people take a break from being high achieving ambient students, in order to try out some other skills of theirs. For instance, I’ve realised that I’m just as great at handling customer complaints through phone calls as I am at producing the most delicious cinnamon apple pie crust ice cream there is. And I must say I’ve become pretty skilled at giving constructive criticism to employers when taking the next step, which has improved my confidence as an employee. These small realisations of who I am in the labour market has improved my maturity as well as it has improved my understanding of the ”grown-up world”.
“In less than a month, me and my bags will head abroad with a new adventure ahead of us.”
For those of you having a hard time relating to my experience in learning to master a 40 liter ice cream machine, no need to fret. Just because you didn’t take some years off in between and is entering higher education straight away, it doesn’t mean you’re making the wrong decision. We are all taking different paths in order to understand where we are heading in life. Some might realise what is right for them early on while some might never find out what their passions are. Life should be about trying different things and the university is the perfect place for this!! Getting involved in lots of different things while meeting so many new people along the way are some of the things I’m most excited about during my time studying in England. In these upcoming blog posts I am excited to share my own experience of living at campus while embarking on interesting subjects within my chosen field, in relation to current changes in foreign policy.
Feel free to contact me for more info about my story or share your own enthusiasm, other questions or your own tips for a Fresher like me in the comments below