Arrival in England!

I’ve been in England for four days now, and at Royal Holloway for two and a half- and it’s been fantastic!

My first day in England I landed in the morning, and stood in line at customs for about an hour.  When I finally emerged, I took a bus to my hotel, and then passed out for about an hour.  I had some lunch, and then made plans to meet my friend, Allison, for dinner in London, where she’s studying with the UF Business School.  I took a bus to the tube, and then took the Piccadilly Line in, and Allison came and met me.  We had some pizza and pasta, and wandered around Piccadilly Circus for a few hours before I headed back to my hotel.

The next morning, I woke up and headed back into London for lunch.  Allison and I grabbed some Indian food for lunch- which I’m an absolute fiend for!- and went to the Museum of Natural History.  She had a paper to write, but I wandered around for a few hours reading interesting facts, and amusing myself.  I had a blast, there was so much to learn, and I’m dying to go back, because there’s no way I saw more than an eighth of the museum.  Afterwards, Allison and I met some of the people from her program at the flat where they’re staying in South Kensington, and went to a pub to grab some food.  Afterwards, I headed back to my hotel, because I knew I had a big morning the next day.

The morning of the 19th, I woke up, ate some cereal, and caught a bus back to the airport to meet my shuttle to Royal Holloway.  It was pretty easy to find, thank goodness.  We got dropped at the university, and I was astounded.  I still can’t believe this is where I’m going to be going to school for the next few months.  It looks like Hogwarts, I swear.  It’s this beautiful Victorian castle, and walking around is absolutely breathtaking.

I walked up to my room, and my roommate had not arrived yet, so I decided to unpack.  That took all of half an hour, because I really don’t have that much stuff with me.  I was wondering what I was going to do for the rest of the day, on my own, when I ran into the girl next door and her friend.  My neighbor’s name is Thea, and her friend is Izzie, short for Isabella.  The three of us decided to go down and get our college cards, which was easy enough.  I had to go somewhere different from them, because I’m international, but I texted Izzie when I finished, and she and I met back up in another girl’s, Em’s, room.  We ended up sitting in Em’s room chatting, before deciding to move into the hallway to meet more people.  We ended up getting about half the fourth floor (where I live) sitting in a circle in the hall, and we all went down to the hall meeting together.  From there, we went and got food, and then decided to go down to the freshers event at Medicine, the pub on campus.

We had a blast at Medicine, I spent most of the night with Thea, Izzie, and their other friend from school, Liv, and they’re all just lovely.  We had a blast dancing and chatting with other people from Founders, and ended up staying until two in the morning, when we finally decided we were too tired to stay any longer.

The next day, we all met for breakfast, and went down to a coffee shop on campus.  Then we all showered, got lunch, and met up with Em and Clem- another girl on our floor- and went for a walking tour of Egham, the town where Royal Holloway is.  It’s a great little town, and we all got to do some grocery shopping while we were down there.  After that, we were hungry again, so we went to the dining hall in Founder’s for dinner, which was great.

We weren’t quite sure what we wanted to do in the evening, so Thea, Liv, Izzie, Em, Clem, and I decided to go down to the common room on the second floor to socialize.  It was packed with other Founder’s residents, which was great.  We hung around with everyone until about ten, when a lot of people decided to go to the pub.  One of the boys we had met the night before, Rhys, decided he was going to have a cup of tea and get to bed early, so Liv, Izzie and I joined him, along with his other hall mate, John.  We all enjoyed a cup of green tea with honey in the pantry, before going back to Rhys’s room.  The lot of us ended up talking in his room until three in the morning about everything from politics to books and movies.

This morning, I met up with Liv and Thea again to hang out for a bit before we went and got lunch.  After lunch, I had my visiting students’ reception, and when that finished, I came here.

I’ve been having such a good time these past few days, and I know this is only going to get more fun as we get to know each other better.  I’m so looking forward to that.