A blogger is someone I have always admired. One who is interesting and intelligent, yet has wit and humour; The blogger can outlay strong thoughts or emotions on a particular topic in only a few short paragraphs. This, for some (like myself) is often seen as a relatively tricky task. For years I have aspired to write a blog, but often the reply in my head shouts “you have nothing interesting to say”, or “do people really want to read about this?”. However with my recent move to The University of Stirling, I feel it is time to let some of my thoughts out.
61 days into my university career, the time has come to reflect on how I see myself fitting in. The ‘banter’ started in Andrew Stewart Hall from almost day 1 with the meeting and greeting of new friends, enemies, and the other few that don’t really say much. Generic questions flew down the corridor such as “What are you studying?” and surprisingly, the unusual “What is the weirdest experience you’ve ever had?”. By the end of the first night, September 13th, it was clear to me that university life would be somewhat different to the quiet and lonely streets of Muirkirk, where I had previously lived my entire life. As freshers week progresses we see the coming together of 22 flatmates (almost) who are all preparing for the 37 weeks – or more – they will spend together. By the end of the week, friendships ‘for life’ have been made, and rivalries formed. Freshers week was a funny occasion, for me at least. Not something I was looking forward to in its entirety, (the loud excessive beats of DJs, the obsession with the nightclub, and the over-consumption of alcohol) it did not turn out to be ‘the best week of my life’ by any means. A highlight however, could be the unique Hot Dub Time Machine, Friday 19th – a race through the music of almost every year from 1950 to the present. Something which I enjoyed thoroughly, until we reached the year 2000 at least.
On to the second week, and the real beginning of all our university lives. The lecture is an awkward experience, some might say. Around 500 young, enthusiastic (yet probably hungover) students sitting quietly in a large room, furiously scribbling down notes on what that guy standing down the front is saying. Not necessarily a ‘guy’, but the lecturer is usually an older, intelligent person who is also so enthusiastic about their chosen area of research that ironically, they can almost convince you it is boring. These lectures go on and on and on, several (five for me) times a week, essentially until you cannot take anymore. As a history student, it can be difficult to stay focussed upon hearing a clearly intelligent man ramble on about a topic as dull as the economy, or an older lady who is enthralled by the idea of social change in Britain encouraging you to take on board her viewpoint; yet I somehow mange to get out of bed for these every week – and I still say I am enjoying them when they end.
Looking back, its been a funny wee two months. Some of the things I’ve seen and the experiences I’ve had might make for good comedy. Never did I think that me – the not so massive football fan – would be attending the home matches of Falkirk Ladies Football Club almost every week; An ‘ultra’ they call me – although I’m not exactly sure what that means. Further, surprisingly in this short space of time I’ve already loaned over ten books from the library (more than I ever did over my six years at school) and even managed to open a few of them! There have been experiences of laughter, drunkenness, happiness, anger and guilt – hence the reason why I’ve only been to Fubar once. Interestingly, I have also learned ‘twartree words i’da Shetland dialect, learned that cleaners rarely do any actual cleaning, that haircuts are expensive in Bridge of Allan, and finally that Klark might even be able to last at least until Christmas. Last but not least, realising how much my interests have grown and watching my new friends embark on their own journey through uni, wherever it may lead, has been special.
As my university career progresses now, it is clear that not everything or everyone are as they first seem. Having only met these people for two months, it is important to realise that we all come from different backgrounds, all have different outlooks and interests, and all act in different ways; thus we are not all destined to get on all of the time. For the most part however, we do, and we do enjoy learning, socialising and living together, which some may say is an added bonus.
University is a great experience, and I can tell already that it is for me. The balance of the social life, the essays, the lectures, the seminars and the pub is one which may be hard to grasp. However, I know by now that nobody lives the perfect life, so we might as well all try our best whilst we have the opportunity.