In case you have been out of the loop on the life and story of Holly, last Friday I left the United States (for the first time) and flew to the UK for my official semester abroad at the University of St. Andrews. I wrote a cute little post right before I left all about how nervous I was and how I thought my heart would beat right out of my chest, but I have no posted since then! Hopefully you were not all too concerned that my heart actually did beat out of my chest due to my lack of posting. Let me assure you, I am alive.
Flying was quite the experience. I had never flown before and I had no idea what to expect. Do you know what happens when you fly somewhere?? You leave the ground! As in, the wheels of the plane are no longer connected to the earth. It is like this: one minute you are just chilling on the runway and the next it is like OMG I AM IN THE AIR HOW DID I GET HERE???? I held Tiffany’s hand and decided I probably didn’t need to worry about a will since I am so young. The whole process from leaving Tiffany’s house to arriving at St. Andrews took about 22 hours and made me wonder how people ever get the motivation to leave their nice, warm, and comfortable beds. I also realized that I could go ahead and cross “flight attendant” and “pilot” off of the list of possible career choices!
Of course, the taxi driver who took us from the Edinburgh airport to the University thought it would be a great idea to drop Tiffany and I off as far away as humanly possible from our dorm! (We live in John Burnet Hall and he dropped us by the David Russell Apartments.) I am shocked he didn’t just drive us back to London and tell us to walk from there!! The walk to our dorm took us over an hour, not only because DRA is a long way off from JBR, but also because we were carrying 70 lbs worth of luggage and we were lost. One could say that we were happy to arrive at our dorm!
Our first day in St. Andrews was spent in town trying to buy things. Because we were only allowed 72 lbs of luggage, we had no space in our suitcases for duvets, sheets, pillows, or things of that nature. We got here at 3 pm and immediately had to leave to try to run and buy things to sleep on before the shops closed in town. Fortunately for us, we still had about two hours left in the day to do this. Unfortunately, about a thousand other students also had the same idea. We went to the local bedding store and found them to already have sold out on every single duvet in the entire store! So we had to run around to other random stores and see if they might be willing to sell us something. We got our duvet covers from the bedding shop, the duvets from a random clothing store, and our pillows from the grocery store (Tesco)!
This week is Orientation (or Freshers) week at St. Andrews. I could probably sum this up by telling you that it is the best experience of my life and also the worst experience of my life. It is the best because I am exploring a new country for the first time and learning to think about and experience things in an entirely new way. So many things that I thought everyone did one way are not done that way here. People here drive on the wrong side of the road, eat strange food, and have oddly shaped currency. (And there are probably many more posts on this subject to come!) It is the worst experience of my life because I do not have any friends yet. Don’t get me wrong, I have met tons of really nice people. But that is the problem. I have met TONS of them! Each person I have talked to for only a few minutes at one social event or the other, but no one for any real length of time. As I am quite an overdramatic person by nature, I am literally quite terrified that I will not make any friends at all here at St. Andrews! Tiffany just rolls her eyes at me and tell me to be patient.
In other news, I have been an absolute failure at life and not taken any pictures since my arrival here at St. Andrews. I hope to begin fixing that, basically, as soon as possible. I don’t own a camera (and the cell phone I got to use while I am here is probably more familiar with communication by morse code than any other form of communication), but Tiffany has offered to let me borrow one of hers sometime!