Reflections on Freshers Week 2010

My friends and I are outside the restaurant we went to for my birthday.

What a week. And, you know, I can’t say that this has anything to do with a lack of sleep due to hangovers and partying because, although there have been at least two bar crawls and two themed parties in the past week, I have partaken only in so much. Those who know me well know that in no large way am I a partier or center-of-attention-seeking or go-all-night kind of gal. But, that is not to say at all that I don’t enjoy a good time with friends.

But that is besides the point. I look back on this week and for the most part have enjoyed it. At this point in the week, many people are suffering from what is called Freshers Flu, which occurs (to my skewed thinking at least) due to constant partying at night, homesickness, adjusting to a new schedule and a new place…and the alcohol really does not help. On my end, I have been fighting my cold for the past week and a half so freshers flu hasn’t hit me hard. Or, if it has, I haven’t noticed in my Alka Seltzer and Lemsip-induced state.

Nope. It’s a different kind of sickness that’s hit me. It’s half homesickness, half realization that things change. People are going to move on without me, regardless of whether or not I’m ready for it. At the same time, I’ve moved on and am discovering the world for myself, by myself. I have always been a fairly independent person, but now that I’m way away in the frigid regions of northern England, I find that I miss my base at Carroll and northern Wisconsin. I miss being able to run across the hall to my boys’ room and have movie nights with my gang. I miss taking drives out on the Thunder Lake cranberry marsh at midnight and watch the full moon over the lake. I miss spontaneous drives to Eagle River for ice cream just because. I miss getting coffee everyday at either Verde or Second Cup.

But, I’m not in Waukesha right now. Besides, I don’t have a spectacular view of the English countryside. I do not have my flatmates right across and down the hall from me. I do not have my own bathroom in my bedroom (haha). And, there is not an entire square on the Carroll campus devoted to shoppes. Hell, we even have a travel agency on campus!! I’m not surrounded by the British accent. Overall, I guess it is a case of the haves and havenots, eh?

The rest of this week was crazy. Smack dab in the middle of the week was my 21st birthday. My friends and I took a round of shots at midnight during a neon-themed dance party at Revolution, a local club.  Later that day, we went to this restaurant I’ve been eyeing since I came to Lancaster. It was called Merchants 1688, and when one walked into the pub, it was literally like walking into a cave. The ceilings were rounded like cellars. The food was really good—I had leek and goats cheese lasagne. It sounds disgusting, but it was the best meal I had had in a long time…of course, I AM at uni after all. College kids around the world eat like…well, college kids. My flatmates decorated the corridor outside my room with balloons and banners, and they even bought a cake and a card. It was one of the best days that I had had since coming to England, and I wouldn’t have traded it for almost anything in the world. It was a birthday worth remembering (and remember I shall…there was little alcohol to be had on my end. 🙂 )

These last couple of days have been less insane. I registered for classes Tuesday and for my history seminars today. I am taking British literature from the Renaissance to the Reformation, digital history, and the political history of the late medieval British isles. I’m excited to learn, and it looks like the classes will be manageable. I certainly am looking forward to having my mind academically stimulated.

That looks about it for now. Weekend plans look to be a trip to the Lakes District Sunday and laundry on Saturday with maybe another trip to Lancaster for necessities. Cheers!

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