Welcome Week, and all it Offers

So I’ve been at school just over a week now, and I think I’m coming to love it a little bit more very day. The weather is perfect (although everyone keeps warning me the sun won’t last!), the company is wonderful, and I’ve been so busy that I’ve hardly had time to miss home.

This past week was welcome week, so classes hadn’t started yet.  Rather, there were departmental meetings and different events for students to attend, such as the Welcome Fayre.  This was basically a way for students to be introduced to just about all the different organizations, or societies, on campus. As someone who is pretty involved back home, I knew I wanted to go to this event.  I went with my two friends Clem and Thea, and we all agreed it was more than a little overwhelming.  I got given candy, pins, stickers, flyers, and wristbands, and signed up for societies that I know I won’t actually participate in (ie: Student Union- I’m only here for a term!), but overall, it was a fun experience.  This week I’m going to go to a few meetings to see what I like, and what I don’t, and go from there!

Furthermore, my friends here have been noticing more and more my difference in vocabulary.  We use a lot of similar words and phrases, but I’ve written down a few that stand out as different.  (Please note, there is some Welsh in here as well.)

  • “You alright?”- roughly the equivalent of “What’s up?”
  • “Good shout”- “Good idea!”
  • Jumper- sweater
  • Trainers- running shoes/ sneakers
  • Lift- elevator
  • Toilet/ loo- restroom
  • Fit- attractive/ cute
  • Fab/ lovely/ lush- sweet/ awesome
  • Taking the mickey out of someone- having a laugh at someone/ mocking them
  • Grim- not good
  • Lad- approximately the equivalent of a tool
  • Numpty- dumb
  • Sod it- screw it
  • Stacked- tripped
  • “What a mare”- “What a nightmare”
  • Cringey- embarrassing/ uncomfortable/ awkward
  • Crwt- Welsh word for “lad”
  • Cheeky Nandos- still a a bit confused over this one, I think I have to go to the restaurant before I really get it
  • Lary- angry
  • Cwtch- Welsh for a hug or a cuddle

And I’m sure I’ll have more to add to this list before the term is out.

Aside from events during the day, our nights have been busy as well.  I finally made it to an off campus pub, called the Monkey’s Forehead, on Wednesday!  It’s a nice enough pub, and I was able to walk around without fighting through a crowd, which is a nice change from Midtown, if you ask me.  The first time I met was with my friend Liv, and we met up with our friend Rhys, and ran into Jess, a girl from our floor.  Liv was feeling a bit under the weather, unfortunately, so we decided to head back to the dorm so she could use some of Rhys’s honey for a cup of tea.  We (Liv, Rhys, and I) all ended up having a cup of tea, and staying up late talking- which probably explains why Liv still didn’t have a voice the next morning.    (Please note:  I have had a fair amount of tea whilst here, and it’s simply lovely.)

The next night, Thursday, Em invited us to celebrate Eid with her, which she described as a sort of Muslim Christmas.  So Em, Clem, Issy, Thea, Liv, and two other girls in our hall, Daisy and Sabrina, all ordered pizza and watched Mean Girls!  I got to help translate some of the more American jokes a little bit, and clarified what was totally exaggerated about American high school (ex: most of the movie).  It was such a fun night, and we all appreciated the quieter night in.  It was also really fun seeing how popular Mean Girls is here as well!  Everyone was quoting the movie along with me, I was far from alone in knowing 90% of the dialogue.  It was fab.

I will admit to a bit of homesickness on Saturday.  My parents traveled to Gainesville for the Gator game, and were tailgating with all my friends- homesickness was basically unavoidable.  I went to Em’s room though, and she and I decided to go out, so that I’d forget about missing home.  It totally worked, we had an awesome time!  I forgot about being homesick (though I did keep watch over the score all night- Go Gators!), and had a really great night in the end.

One of my favourite parts of being here though, has been the instant friendships being formed.  I feel like I’ve known most of the people here far longer than just over a week, it seems like they’ve been around for ages.  Everything is already so comfortable, which is great.  It’s made the whole being in a different country thing almost easy.