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Journals from England Fall 2012

2012-10-01 Campus Living

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Twisting iron staircase outside of Derby Hall at University of Nottingham

Try to remember your first day of college – hectic, loud, and uncomfortable. However, be thankful that Linfield does not have concrete walls. Be thankful that wood and plaster muffles sound because on the night of September 23rd, earplugs were a necessity that I did not have. In hindsight it is rather amusing; however, having to be reacquainted with the perpetual din of sound that is a university residence hall was not entirely entertaining for an exhausted international student.

Noise is just one of the differences I have noticed between the residence halls at the University of Nottingham (U.N.) and Linfield College. Many of the first-year students, also known as ‘freshers’, are starting their first year at university in correlation with their 18thbirthdays. For those who do not know, the minimum drinking age in the United Kingdom is eighteen. Thus instead of an orientation weekend for freshmen, the U.N. holds Fresher’s Week – a week of few orientation seminars and nightly university-sponsored club trips. I did go to the first club, Ocean, and I’ll readily admit that it was a fun night. I got to know some of the people from my hall better and it was a nice break from the rather boring weekend the international students experienced. However, I have no idea how some of the students went out to a different club each night and were still functional the next day.

Another difference, which has its pro’s and con’s, are the rooms. The most common room on a British university campus is a single. They include the typical bed, desk, and wardrobe. They also include a spinning office chair, fabric curtains, a desk lamp, a phone, bookshelves, a mirror, a sink, a mini-fridge, a notice board, and a lounge chair. The only downside to this, and yes there actually is one, is that you don’t have someone right next to you who you can immediately latch on and become good acquaintances with if not friends. Also, the doors slam shut automatically, which can unintentionally lead to your being a hermit. On the other hand, the dining hall is attached to the residence hall, which means not walking out in the cold and the rain to get breakfast and dinner. My residence hall also has a pub attached, so I can eat lunch in my hall as well.

Overall, the halls on campus are rather impressive, internally and externally as well. Though my dorm is the most recent addition to the campus and thus less visually appealing, some of the other halls on campus are just what I imagined them to be: brick buildings with covered archways leading into lush green courtyards. Utterly beautiful.

Rhianna Bennett

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