Starting at University
When I started at the University of York, I didn’t realise quite how much of an impact it was going to have. I went into it with an open mind, but didn’t want to get my hopes up, knowing that there would be many challenges to overcome. Before I left, my parents gave me a letter that read: “The next three years of your life will be the best of your life so far, so embrace it all.” I never imagined to be sitting here, writing this today, and feel so completely at home. York is my second home. I have packed more into the past two months than I have in the past two years. It’s been chaotic and intense, but most of all brilliant. I’ve reflected repeatedly that there’s no other way I would have liked to spend the last two months, and the many months to follow—including the 12 days of Christmas.
York is a beautiful city. When it snows, it’s even more beautiful. There was something magical about walking through the town centre in the evening with my flatmates. This term, we say goodbye to the international students that we have shared our flat with. I, for one, think they’ll be glad to get home to a warmer climate! Despite issues with the heating in the flat, and the typical British notion of leaving the house with the declaration, “It’s freezing!” we have all pulled through. It’s all part of the experience.
James College Winter Formal
I’ve had many different experiences over the past couple of months. Earlier, we went to the National Railway Museum for the James College Winter Formal. The meal was lovely, and featured as a sort of mini Christmas dinner, with a group of people I’ve come to see as my second family. I will miss them dearly over the festive break, but it was brilliant to be able to spend some days of Christmas with them. What was less desirable was having to wear a dress in the midst of Arctic winds!
We sat on Table 12 – a notable inside joke in our house. I spent a good fifteen minutes thinking about a way of explaining it that would actually make sense, but I don’t think I can. We’re a diverse bunch of people, and in a way, I would like to dedicate this blog post to them. My housemates. Who have made the first term of university the very best it could be.
Christmas is Coming
On the way back from the afterparty, I remember turning to everyone and being very excited at the prospect that it was 1 December. I had the enthusiasm of a child, waiting and dreaming of the day that Santa is coming to town. Once I heard Fairytale of New York play, and started dancing around my room, I knew that Christmas was here. In all honesty, the magic of Christmas has been here from the very first day I started at York. After all, we’ve had flashing stars around our kitchen noticeboard since October!
What Have I Learnt?
The University of York is welcoming and helpful. Not only is it dedicated to the academic progress of students, but also their personal progress. I believe I have made a lot of in this first term. As a Literature student, I like to think of myself as a sentimental and nostalgic thinker. The memories I’ve made this term will stick with me forever. My seminar discussions have opened my eyes to the power of storytelling once again. This is one of the reasons I’m studying Literature at university. It reminded me that I’m creating my own stories every day. Stories of independence, friendship, and most of all, fun.
So this is Christmas? It has all come around very quickly. I realised that when I was walking (or trying to, although the crowds were immense!) around York Christmas Markets about halfway through November. Since I haven’t yet been home for a visit this term, I am very much looking forward to spending the next month at home with my parents (and cats of course!)
If I could give one piece of advice for anyone thinking of starting at the University of York next year, embrace it. Take up every opportunity that gets offered to you. You will not regret it.
A Brilliant End to the Year…
Here’s to the 12 days of Christmas 2021, and many more months of chaotic brilliance.
A special thanks to the friends I’ve made since I came here. You’re all one of a kind.