First year chronicles: from Oman to Glasgow

From the time I accepted my offer to Glasgow till the point where I finally landed in the city, I was absolutely terrified. As an Indian who was born and raised in the Middle East, flying halfway round the world to get my degree seemed quite daunting. But if I had a chance to do it all over again, I wouldn’t hesitate. The thought of having to meet people, make friends and build my life all over again was absolutely terrifying. You’re dropped into this whole other environment where you’re expected to survive and have a decent lifestyle all on your own. Coming from a desert country to an extremely cold, windy and wet city was quite a contrast: you either layer up too much or too little. There’s really no in-between.

I came into University expecting the absolute worst, but I was fairly taken aback by the warm and welcoming faces around me. From meeting some of my closest pals in halls and interacting with fellow students in lectures, to getting involved with the variety of clubs offered by Glasgow Uni, it’s safe to say that I’ve met some phenomenally talented and unique individuals. Freshers week was both fun and exhausting. You’re constantly meeting new people and going out to drink and party. It can definitely be overwhelming for some, so don’t feel obligated to go out every night. You should be able to strike a balance and take care of your mental health. Personally, having to adjust to a completely different curriculum was a major obstacle for me. Writing academic essays was not something I was used to, hence, I struggled with that a lot. But I had some of the best professors and tutors, who were willing to aid me in any way possible. The whole of first semester consisted of trying to adjust to a completely different lifestyle as well as trying to find the routine that best suited me. Having a supportive friend group and being able to live in one of the most stunning cities in the world made things a lot easier.

One of the highlights of being a Glasgow uni student is the fabulous events and socials put up by our unions. Whether it is downing a pint of fun and slapping the roof of the beer bar at the GUU or grooving at one of the many concert gigs hosted at the QMU, it all comes down to tradition. The city of Glasgow has a fascinating night life. Nothing makes a student night out like hitting a club or pub for cheap drinks and a hell of a good time. But of course, no night out is complete without a visit to the chippy!

As a theatre student, the city has definitely not disappointed me when it comes to the performing arts. Unfortunately, due to current circumstances, shows have not been able to go on, but Glasgow is highly popular for its lovely theatre venues and plays. Glasgow has so much to offer from a cultural point of view. I remember the first time I walked down the streets of Buchanan during the time of the Christmas markets. Listening to the pipes being played by pure Scottish men all dressed in kilts was a truly magical experience. First year of uni was definitely not the easiest but I’ve been lucky enough to make some of the most beautiful memories with some amazing people that I’ve met along the way. It really is true what they say about this place – people really do make Glasgow. It’s what has made living away from home so much easier.

[Samyukta Vidyashankar – she/her – @saamzzz]

[Photo credit: Anna Urlapova]

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