I don’t know what the word “UNI” makes you think about, but for me it was associated with new beginnings and to be honest, I’ve always been terrified by new beginnings. You never know what to expect from them, how to act, what to do or better yet, what NOT to do. Now I look back and I can say that student life at Queen Mary is much more than you can imagine! It is such a unique experience that it’s worth enjoying every second of it!
My first day as QMUL student was a mixture of fear, excitement of being on my own and eagerness to make new friends, just like any other fresher. I remember entering the campus telling myself “Okay, this is not quite what I expected “ and of course, it was not at all what I anticipated (it never is anyway, so don’t worry). In fact was even better than that! I found myself surrounded by a mass of people moving from one place to another faster than I could say my name, all of them trying to find their own way. The buildings appeared to be bigger than what I had seen on the website and everything was full of colour and life. “Good. Which way now?” I couldn’t even finish my sentence that a tall young lady wearing a red volunteering t-shirt welcomed me with such a radiant expression that I was completely blown away. “So, this is not a prison, people are really happy in here!” After taking me for a tour, I was given my timetable, a map of the campus and had already found my favourite place! You will definitely fall in love with Regents Canal as well, I promise.
On my way to my first “lecture” I realised I stressed myself too much about where, how, when. It was clear that everything was so well organized, these cheerful people were contented with the choice they made to be here and there was a piece of heaven I could escape to right on campus ! You will see what I’m talking about in the pictures below!
For the next hour or so it was me and around 300 other people that I did not know, all eyes and ears to what the lecturer was saying. Then he went: “You are incredibly quiet so I must benefit from this as much as I can. I’m pretty sure that after the following weeks it won’t happen again. But for now please get to know the person sitting next to you and say hello”. We all did that and by the end of the day each of us added some new names on our friends list. I never thought I would be friends with people from so many different parts of the world! Morocco, Kazakhstan, China and so on! Everybody wanted to meet everybody ! And well, in the end he was right. In a couple of weeks time it became a difficult task for him to keep our voices down.
Later that day I got the chance to meet some of my flat mates and that amazing day ended with a delicious meal made by them!