First Impressions: Highs and Lows
Hello everyone! So I’ve finally been able to get round to making my first appearance on here. Ever since I’ve started university here at Warwick in October, my life’s become so jam-packed, I don’t think I’ve ever been so busy in my life.
So as you would see from somewhere on this page, I’m Rana and I’ve moved from Egypt all the way here to study Law. I always get asked why I chose to study here (and not back home), and why Warwick in particular. To answer the first question, I would not have been able to actually study Law back home, the main reason being that the only universities that offer the course teach it in Arabic, and having been in an international school my whole life, I’m a lot more fluent in English than I am in Arabic (which is a little embarrassing sometimes given it’s my native tongue). I chose Warwick, not only because it has the reputation of a good university, but the course and options that come with the course really appealed to me. So far, I’m really enjoying my course, and in the next blog post, I’ll be writing more on that.
My first impression of Warwick has overall been great, I’ve enjoyed my time and met lots of really interesting people so far. After the hype and excitement of freshers had died down, I was able to settle in more (and get more work done, thankfully – as Law is a course that does require a lot of independent study…a lot of reading). I have joined a few societies but the one thing that I’ve been involved in the most is Rowing. I’d never had the chance to try the sport out before university. I managed to get on the Novice Women’s team and I think it’s one of my best decisions, as I don’t think I’d have been doing enough exercise if it wasn’t for this club. It’s been just over a week since I went on a winter training camp in Reading with them in the first week of our Christmas holiday (my hands are still recovering from all the blisters). While I came out of the trip exhausted and half-covered in bird poop, I learned a lot, improved and had a wonderful experience with a lovely group, I realised how much I enjoy being a part of this club, I’m really happy I decided to try it out.
Here’s a picture of us all with our lovely coach Phil at the end of the trip!
I’ve always been a huge music fan, and never really got to experience live music until this year. Just before I started university I went to a music festival, LeedsFest, with my best friend. I had the most wonderful time as I saw some of my favourite bands who I’ve been listening to for years (Fall Out Boy, Twenty One Pilots, The 1975, The Vaccines – to name a few). I had the best weekend in Leeds. It was tiring but completely worth it. It’s also been great to catch up with old friends, as many of mine go to universities around the UK. One of my friends came to visit me for my birthday as well, during the night of the US Elections where we stayed up in the SU for a bit waiting for the result (we both left and fell asleep before it was even announced).
While having a great time at university, I did start to feel homesick halfway through the term – something that hit me later than everyone else I knew it at the time it seems. After the hype of the first two months and finally settling down a bit and thinking of where I am now, and where I was just months before, I did really miss home. Warwick and England as a whole is very different to Cairo, and moving here has thrown me into a completely new environment which can feel a little overwhelming at times. But it didn’t bring me down too much at all – the opposite in fact, as I took it as a kind of learning experience. Learning to live away from home, meeting new people and adapting to a new environment is an invaluable experience which not many people get. I’ve learned a lot in just the 3 months I’ve been here, particularly just being more responsible for myself and independent. I had some really good university friends who helped lift my mood. One piece of advice I’d give is not to keep your feelings to yourself, talk to others around you and you may find (as I did) that everyone else will have felt the same at one point. Really, this was my only low point at university as everything else has been great.
Ironically enough, here I am with my family in Birmingham enjoying my Christmas holiday (while studying a lot as well), and a part of me can’t wait to go back to my hall, but I’ve been able to see what all my old friends who have gone to different universities around the UK and the USA have been doing. It’s weird how we’ve all split and gone to different countries now, I think it’ll be interesting to hear about the different experiences we’ve had.
I hope everyone’s having a lovely holiday, feel free to drop me any questions down below!