First days of classes at Nottingham Uni

The past few days have contained constant reminders of the fact that I’m not at Luther anymore. I can’t wake up 15 minutes before class and quickly run across campus, instead I need to be on a bus at least 40 minutes before the class starts in order to arrive on time. I also can’t expect each class to have an assigned book to read that I can order with the touch of a button on my laptop or quickly buy from the bookshop. Everything is different, but truthfully I like it that way. I can definitely say that this experience studying abroad is really pushing me out of my comfort zone. I am in unfamiliar territory and it can be extremely stressful at times, but I know that in the end I will only grow because of it. Last Thursday I officially started classes at the University of Nottingham. I was the first out of our group to have class and so needless to say I was really nervous. I left the flat approximately an hour before my 11am history module was set to begin. I rode the buses all on my own, and quickly walked over to Lenton Grove, the History building, where my module was set to be. I walked up the stairs past construction signs and loud pounding… pretty much oblivious, to arrive at a closed door with a sign saying something like “Blood and Treasure to be held at Humanities A21…” I may have freaked out just a little bit. I wandered around the building, looking hopelessly for any sign of my class. I went to room A21… to find some History lecturer’s office (they call professors lecturers here) which only made me stress… well, a lot more! I wandered around that building for probably 10 minutes or so before I finally decided to ask someone. I mean it did say it was in the Humanities building, but the signs said History and Humanities outside. The girl I asked, to my relief, told me that all I had to do was go outside and walk on the sidewalk to get to the building that was only one over. I arrived only a few minutes late and was one of the first ones out of my class to arrive; that is out of the ones that actually showed. I then was able to leave campus with minimum scarring and a pretty funny story to tell. (I’m joking about the scarring.) This week I started my week of classes by going to Italian with Noah. It’s really nice to have one of my flatmates in the same module as me. We left the flat an hour before the module was set to begin, rode the bus together and then walked to our destination. We ended up sitting in the classroom for half an hour before the module started. This gave us a great opportunity to chat with other students which was nice. Funny thing about the module is that Noah was one out of two boys in the module. Two boys wandered in sat down, at different points in the seminar, and then discovered that it actually wasn’t German or Spanish. They quickly picked up their stuff and left the room and each time a piece of hope in Noah seemed to die… haha During Italian the tutor accused everyone of being Italian, which made me feel a million times better about my experience with her earlier. Then… well we learned some Italian. It proved to be somewhat difficult just because I continuously wanted to say things in Spanish.. haha It all just started coming back once I was in Italian class. How unfair? After Italian we had a quick packed lunch by the Portland building and then went our separate ways. My next module was Psychology of Addiction and was set to take place in the Coates Road Auditorium which on reading the location I thought was just the name of a street. So there I was wandering down Coates Road thinking, ”Maybe its in Coates Building… that would make sense right?” Believe me… it wasn’t. After searching the signs for anything resembling a large auditorium in the Coates building, I finally wandered back down Coates Road and guess what I found? A HUGE ENTRANCE TITLED COATES ROAD AUDITORIUM. It was a place and I found it. It was just hidden behind god-awful, large, ugly buildings. I stood off to the side waiting for everyone to start walking in and sparked up a conversation with another American. Of course I found an American to talk to, but she was really nice and so we went in and sat together. Our first day of the module consisted of watching a movie about drug and alcohol addiction. It began in an ER where we got to see people getting their stomachs pumped, people with huge gashes in their arms as well as one person die. It was intense and it definitely caught my interest. After the module ended everyone in our class rushed to the Greene Library to attempt to snatch up the psychopharmacology book that we have to read for class. By the time I arrived, they were completely gone. I still don’t have that book. I went to the bookshop as well and it was sold out. I finally requested it online so hopefully the library will have a copy ready for me soon. After class I went to the library to search for the books that my history lecturer told us to read out of. I couldn’t find any of them! I searched, I stressed and finally I gave up and went and waited for Noah to get done with lecture. It was a HUGE relief to see him walking down the sidewalk. Today my first module was at noon, so I woke up thinking that I really had all of the time in the world. Not the smartest. I had a great breakfast, chatted it up with the flatmates, went for a run with Becca and Elise, and then had a nice, relaxing shower. It was PERFECT morning, until I realized that it was 11am and I should be leaving for campus rather than just hopping out of the shower. I quickly threw myself and my stuff together, left the flat around 11:30 and jumped on the first 77 bus to Canning Circus. At the transfer I walked as fast as I could, and when I reached campus I passed everyone on my trek to the Humanities building. I arrived at 12:00pm on the dot! It just worked perfectly, but I definitely learned my lesson. I am NEVER cutting it that close ever again. After class I headed to the library to again search for the books that I needed to read for class. This time I took note of the special notes on the books and was able to find one of them! I read one of my assignments for class and felt a million times better! Next I had my Psychology of Addiction lecture again and sat between my new friend from Chicago and a girl from Kenya. We had fun making comments about the video. Afterwards I rushed out in order to make it back home for dinner. (It was done at 5pm and dinner starts promptly at 6pm.) I think the first few days were a success. I definitely learned what not to do and I think I’m starting to sort of get the hang of this British university thing. Cheers ladies and gents J

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