My results came back for my exams and my final module marks from this year at UEA a couple of days ago. And thank god. I made it! I am so relieved and proud! This year was a massive challenge for me, in every aspect of my life, but I have officially made it! What?? I still want to just jump up and down and scream in excitement! Looking back I am actually so proud of my first year and how some how I survived!
First of all, for the obvious, I “fledged outside the nest” to a whole new exciting country! Well, it isn’t extremely exotic on my part as I actually am British and have visited my home many times during my childhood with my family. When I first moved to England I therefore didn’t even consider this was an issue, but then I realized that it actually was! Casually and socially my English skills are pretty normal and you wouldn’t realize I was technically “a foreigner” grown up in Norway, but academically it is a bit more visible. My academic and scientific vocabulary was very limited, and this proved to be a massive challenge at the beginning of the year (and still is, but I am working on it). I was looking up practically every other word when I was reading through papers and lecture material, and therefore making progress was slow. I wouldn’t get through the whole paper and I would only grasp bits of this alien writing. I was already in my first weeks at university already convinced I was doomed as a student in England. I remember getting so stressed about it all I actually would cry regularly and feel so anxious and like a failure. Also, writing my own work such as lab reports and essays was worrying! I was convinced my grammar was all wrong, my structure wasn’t like how they wanted it, and that my limited vocabulary made me sound like a lazy, retarded infant to these genius lecturers. This is perhaps where my anxiety to study and do academic work was first rooted. But!! And it is a big but! Reading papers slowly got easier, and writing assignments got better! My lab reports and essays were scoring marks of 60 – almost 80 % ! Being at university meant a whole new form of learning too! New exam forms, hand writing, lectures and a new form of academic freedom has both it’s advantages and disadvantages, and it takea some time getting used to!
Results from this year! Click onto picture for better resolution if you are interested.
Leaving home and going to university doesn’t just challenge you academically though, but socially! Living on campus in Suffolk Terrace you have to get used to living with a whole new array of people with different habits and lifestyles. This year though I have been so lucky to meet lots of amazing people and make some super friends, maybe even some lifelong ones, and really settled inn! I have even secured a house next year with six of some of my favourite people! We have had so much fun together, partying, discovering Norwich and even helped each other on how to survive this jungle of freedom, responsibility and living on our own. I have had to take care of my self (no help from mummy ❤ ) and done my own washing, learned how to feed myself, get myself to bed, work out and much more! Quite a challenge too! Not eating properly and not getting enough sleep really can affect your health and emotions, as I already discovered by the end of semester 1 and which I was trying to resolve in this post.
Moving to England has definitely been worth all the struggle though! I realize that even though it has been tough at times, I love it here and wouldn’t want to study anywhere else! I love my course and all the exiting things we have done and will do, and I love the new people in my life! Of course, I have struggled emotionally as well with home sickness and a long distance relationship that didn’t end so good. Feeling depressed and lonely, missing my boyfriend was hard! It took it’s toll in the end though.. More emptiness and heartbreak during exam period and for the last couple of months has been some of the hardest things I have had to go through. Receiving my exam results and seeing that I have passed in all modules (despite being unprepared and having my heart and thoughts elsewhere) and clearing the last fence it has therefore been a lift off my shoulders and a lift to my hope and spirit!
I am enjoying life back in Norway though! I am relaxing and having so much fun and really enjoying a well deserved rest (do you agree?)! Next year back at England should be so much fun and I am excited (but still nervous)! Perhaps being with no boyfriend to worry about in Norway will help me fully emerge myself in my British life down there without being so tied back to home! Maybe I should even reconsider a year abroad again as part of my course (I am still officially on it), even though a while back I was convinced it was too much for me (and it would ruin any change of fixing my relationship with Sjur) in this post. Let’s move forward Ellie 🙂 Also, after being a fresher I know what to expect more academically, and I know my strengths and weaknesses, and can perhaps tackle this year with more ease and experience!
Life is good at the moment ❤