My first days at Queen Mary, University of London, were literally dreamlike, dreamlike in a very positive way. I simply loved the campus, it felt like being in a movie about university life. And while those movies, more often than not, seem to forget about the actual study part, they can be quite accurate about the new challenges that a fresher has to face.
Above all, the biggest challenge for me was to make new friends. Since I am from Italy, I did not know anyone here. On top of the initial disorientation, I certainly was not helping myself by being really, really shy, especially since everyone spoke a language that I was only starting to master.
So, I went to my scheduled Induction week’s activities feeling hopeful but also a little anxious. And, I have to admit, I was surprised to find out that you spend most of Induction Week playing games. Well, let me tell you this: the teachers who make you play what can look like “silly games” are actually doing you a huge favour. Games are excellent ice-breakers and, before you realise it, you have introduced yourself to a bunch of new people and are sharing jokes with them. I am very grateful for those bonding moments, and I am still friends with many people I met in those occasions.
Thanks to that, I adapted to my new life quite quickly. I was somehow scared that I would be disadvantaged because English was not my first language, but what I found was an extremely welcoming and already international environment. Although I am not an English native speaker, I now write for the journal of the Economics Society. This is how many opportunities Queen Mary offers!