Moving to Cornwall from India has so far been a tremendous journey. On 14th of Sept 2019, I landed at the London Heathrow Airport looking forward to my journey to Cornwall on the airport pick up service organised by the University. With the luggage put into the storage compartment below I boarded the bus and picked out a window seat to enjoy the journey to Cornwall, a few minutes later, a girl asked if she could occupy the seat next to me and soon enough we got talking about the courses we are going to be studying, where we are from and of course about the weather. Little did I know on that day that this person would turn out to become one of my first and most comforting friends. I was lucky enough to meet another person too during the journey, outgoing and bubbly would be an understatement for her, we both were the only ones shivering in the late September wind and already disliking the weather.
The weeks that followed are pretty much a blur when I try to recount those initial first weeks of college. I was swarmed with reading material and managed to read the wrong articles for one class! It was as if in a dream, the weeks passed by quickly, I made more friends and landed up with the liveliest bunch. We are a group of international students who met through different events hosted during fresher’s week and of course the two friends I met on the bus. As foodies with similar allergies, we agreed on hosting each other when possible and cooking an authentic meal. I got to try some of the best home recipes from Switzerland, Germany, Russia, South Africa and Jamaica.
During mid-term, I was facing a personal crisis when I had to put my dog to sleep, not being able to see her in person and getting to say my final goodbye broke my heart. The only way I was able to cope with the loss was thanks to this supportive group of friends’ I’d made and a couple of my classmates. These guys taught me that it is ok to be down and ask for help and there is absolutely no shame in crying during class.
End of the term now, Christmas around the corner and a series of submissions had me grappling around to get my assignments done without getting sucked into the Christmas celebrations. With all the submissions and presentation finally done, it was also time to bid farewell to the first friend I had made here. Being an exchange student for a term, it was time for her to go back to her home college. But we decided to do one last adventure before it was time to leave.
After attending the Christmas Market in Falmouth, we went to Exeter to explore the city and see our main campus. Two days were packed with walking around town and exploring all that the city had to offer. From here I headed to Bristol and Bath, it has always been a dream of mine to visit Bath and explore the famous Roman Baths. So, off I went from Exeter to my first stop – Bristol, eager to explore Banksy’s art around the city. I must say, it was rather underwhelming for me as architecture has always outweighed art for me. The city, the cathedrals and the Temple Meads Station, however, were just awe-inspiring.
The main take away from this term has been about independence. Before coming here, I could not wait to be living by myself, when I got here, the experience had been slightly daunting. With a fun bunch of friends, a part-time job and volunteering my time at a heritage site, my experiences have all added to my becoming a more independent and free-spirited person than I was before I started university.