Weekly Update: My First Week

The last time I wrote any kind of post about my life was when I talked about ‘the big move’ and all of that and I don’t think I’ve really mentioned St Andrews or orientation week.

So I moved on Saturday and J stayed overnight (despite dirty looks from the assistant warden – it’s allowed and a long drive to do both ways in one day) but stayed in while I did the awkward first-night-out-in-the-pub-with-people-you-don’t-know-but-will-be-living-with thing. Then he drove me around to various supermarkets because at some stage in the moving process I’d lost my phone charger and was obviously desperate for a new one. In fact, I discovered that there were a lot of things missing while I unpacked but it’ll all sort itself out soon.

He left on Sunday afternoon and I immediately felt better about being here. I don’t know what it was but when he was here I was thinking ‘what am I doing?’ and going through that whole ‘aah I don’t know anyone’ thing. Perhaps it was the anticipation of him leaving me here alone but as I said, as soon as he was gone, I felt relief, almost. Not because he’d gone but more because I felt able to start settling in.

So for the rest of Sunday I just wandered about a bit – found the pier and East Sands and the places I’d need to be in the next few days. It’s not very exciting so I won’t go into any detail.

Then I had this English Postgraduate Symposium thing on Monday morning which was more aimed at PhD Literature students really. I just found it funny that they called it a Symposium – which just makes me think of Plato and all these Greek philosophers sitting around getting drunk talking about love.

Throughout the week I went to a few lectures about studying here – academic misconduct, the marking system, using the library and that kind of thing. Also met my ‘classmates’ and one of my tutors for a meet and greet/introduction but we’d all pretty much already met at the pub the night before. (We arranged to go out for a drink by email.) Then there was the English Department party – free wine – and the halls pre-telling-off talk thing.

On Saturday I went on a little expedition to this trading estate outside of Cupar – which is a little town nearby. There was a shop there I wanted to go to to buy a bag as my birthday present from my parents so I got the bus and had a bit of a debate with the driver about my stop because buses confuse me when I’m new to a place. (He seemed offended when I asked if it stopped there and insisted that it stopped on every stop on the way to Cupar. I wasn’t trying to insult his bus route I just wanted to be sure.) But I got there and back OK. Had a much nicer driver on the way back – he picked me up at some traffic lights and wasn’t supposed to stop at my stop anyway but seemed quite cheerful about it.

The Sports and SocMart (which they call sports fayre and fresher’s fayre) were the usual people-packed affairs with lots of societies trying to convince you to join up. I don’t really know why they do that because unless you know what you want to sign up for you just end up signing up for everything and never going to any. I thought I was being very wise about it by being selective but still signed up even when I’d made the informed decision not to on talking to people. You know how when you’ve talked to someone about something you feel obliged to join or buy the thing or whatever. So now I’m on mailing lists for things I know I’ll never go to, anyway.

A funny thing happened in the library last night. The library only just re-opened because it was having work done to it so I’d gone in earlier just to have a nose but I decided to get some books out in the evening. So I went in and found everything OK – really, it was pretty similar to the UEA library so not difficult to navigate. But as I was using the self-loan (or whatever they’re called) machine to take my books out a librarian approached me and asked if I was OK. It was a different machine to ones I’d used before but I’m pretty good at figuring these things out – they’re usually pretty self-explanatory. So I said I was but I don’t think she believed me as she hung around and watched me. This put me off. I kind of panicked and didn’t really read the on-screen instructions which meant she had to tell me how to do it. So last night I had to have someone telling me how to use a library machine. I would have been fine if I hadn’t had an audience.

I don’t want this to runaway with me and get really long so I’ll stop there.

More from my exciting life next week!


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