01 October 2006

Reflections

I was reluctant to come here. After the first weekend of fresher’s activities I didn’t want to go to the first introductory lecture. It was all too complicated – too different from where I had been and everything that had gone before.

But I went. And all was OK – no big scary beast was coming to eat me up, although at some point in the week I fell off my bike (again).

Starting a new university is an unusual experience – but I feel it was more difficult as a graduate. When I was a fresh faced 18 year old moving to university to study a course I didn’t really want to, the thought of meeting people and making friends never even bothered me, let alone studying. It would just be something I would ‘do’, as I believed students did. The integration period was easier because of Jo – a friend from college. In reality this was my downfall, as we drifted apart since she was studying medicine and I wasn’t.

This time around and I’m not sure if the absence of a friend from home is a good thing or not. I feel I’ve found it difficult to make friends here because of my slightly outlandish and loud Northern personality. Maybe I’ve become spoilt by a forgiving group of friends at my old university who I don’t have to impress. Maybe I’m just trying too hard to impress….

The diversity of people here alarms me slightly, yet interests me at the same time. I was expecting to feel ‘old’ in comparison to the rest of my peers, yet oddly I don’t anymore. I feel a little more sensible than the 18 and 19 year old school leavers, but not boring. I also promised myself I wouldn’t cloister myself away with the other graduates – which I’ve pretty much managed to succeed at. I have friends 4 years younger than me and I don’t think I mind.

Speaking of people on the course, there are some people who I can already see myself clashing with on a personality level. Maybe I’m more used to basic lecture etiquette and behaviour, but making enough noise so that other people can’t hear isn’t just rude, it’s ignorant. There is a huge potential here to become ostracised by the vast amount of cliques and clans. A week in and there are some very strong allegiances being made by different groups of people – yet I feel I don’t really fit into any of them.

In all, the experience so far has been enlightening and allowed me to re-evaluate my UCAS decision. I don't feel any regrets so far, just a whole lot of confusion.

11 comments:

Calamity Jane said...

Merys,

You don't know me from Adam but believe me when I say you need to keep the faith and stay focused on what your goals are regardless of the ninnies surrounding you. I'm sure ultimately you will either become friends or having the benefit of a few years maturity on them you may become their mentor. I have friends (I kid you not, I do have friends) who are both older and younger than I - age really is just a state of mind.

Emster said...

I felt pretty much the same way during a large chunk of my first year at BL - having loads of aquaintances but few really close friends because I just didn't fit in with any groups very well. It does get easier, and remember you're only a couple of weeks in.

And from my experience all those eejits who cannot pipe down during lectures soon get a firm 'Shut up will you?!' by the lecturer and/or a student sitting behind them. Tis only a matter of time m'dear ;)

Jo said...

Hope it improves / settles down soon.

Anonymous said...

Dear Northern Scum, one expects your not at Oxford. If you are fuck off and allow someone worthwhile to have your place. I'm sure you would make a great care assistant. Life is tough!

Anonymous said...

A dear friend of mine, a decent bloke, a medic, spent some time in the North and if he went anywhere outside the hospital was called a SCUM BAG. You see he had a southern accent. Get a grip!

Mat said...

Dear Anonymous Scum,
You're scum. Coward scum at that. To be honest, if you're going to go around insulting people, and don't have the balls to leave any details about yourself, you're a bit of a weak cowardly shit really aren't you?

Yes, yes you are.

Merys said...
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Merys said...
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Merys said...

Hmm, an interesting comment (anonymous at 22.49), and please feel free to email me if you wish to discuss your opinions further (bloodystudents@hotmail.co.uk)
Otherwise, if you read back to here http://bloodystudents.blogspot.com/2006/09/learning-objectives.html you will see I am on a PBL course (problem based learning) while Oxford is not. If you look really carefully, I even said that in the article.

John Luck said...

I can not comment on Oxford, or coward scum. However, as a 33 year old entering the final hurdle of my mbbs, in the North of England i can say that it is difficult studying medicine in "old age" in the part of the country that does not count as home. My advice would be trite, but try and ignore the slings and arrows, and strive to be content.

Anonymous said...

I found those first few weeks at med school tough with everyone settling into cliques and me not feeling like I fitted into any of them. It will get easier (although I can't promise the noisy brats will learn any manners during lectures). Keep enjoying it and be more careful with that bike! ;-)