I don’t think, up til now, I’ve experienced much culture shock. Instead, I’ve been more inundated with the details of school beginning again, and what it means to have to be a freshman once more. Maybe the culture shock will show its beastly head later on. But man, it’s difficult to start school a weekend and a day after a two day orientation: finding buildings, experiencing my first frustration with the school’s infamous class scheduler, not knowing who to email and ask questions to. Although I’m very happy with my decision to be away from Wes for a semester, I do miss the ease of knowing how to navigate class selection, even if WesMaps had not been so kind to me.
Also, eating is difficult without a meal plan and a full-sized fridge! It’s cool that each student gets their own mini fridge, and that the kitchen is cleaned daily by staff. But that means that I have to bring downstairs each ingredient I’ll be using for a meal, and if I’m not freezing it (we have a big freezer, which is nice), I’ll have to find room in my tiny fridge to stow it away. This put a hamper in my plans to make a big lot of food on Sunday, or possibly Wednesdays (no class!) and eat it for the rest of the week. Not sure if that’ll work out or not. Maybe I’ll have to freeze instead of refrigerate?
Also, I was searching on 8tracks for a playlist with the goods: CSNY, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, etc. and one that popped up was called “Breakfast at Perk”, which playlistifies a coffee house located in Durham, CT! It was a beautiful playlist and felt like a long-distance blanket.
After going to my first class (European Society and Culture; 4-level (freshman); met 3 new kids; seems interesting/easy), I can confidently say that Queen Mary is way more diverse than Wes could ever hope to be. I’ve realized that, as much as a white middle-class American can demand, I need diversity to thrive. Life’s too short to surround oneself with a homogeneous, close-to-home outlooks. It thrills me when I feel like I’m part of the minority in the room or on the tube. Growing up in a 93% white town does this to you.
Somehow I’ve managed to befriend all the English and Drama majors. It feels like the biology kids are hiding. I know I’ll meet some in my Mammals and Evolution class tomorrow. But for now, in my science friend-devoid stupor, when I meet anyone vaguely interested in science- biochemistry, math, even pre-dental– I exclaim “that’s so cool!. My companion is often taken aback, but that’s okay. They say no one ever says majoring in math is cool. I’m glad to deviate from that sad, sad norm. (Shoutout to Sarah, my fabulous math/dance double major pal!)
Also, I feel a little burnout coming on. It’s strange, since without Facebook and a phone, you’d think this wouldn’t happen as quickly. Maybe it’s not burnout so much as it is lack of energy to keep in touch with everyone I want to (I’m lucky to care about so many people) and understand my schedule. Making friends hasn’t been very hard so far. I guess I understand that it takes time and I’ll meet a lot through all the clubs and activities and classes I intend to participate in.
Long post wrap up: Now! What are your favorite freezer-friendly recipes? I’m dying to know!