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Please Mind the Gap

October 3rd, 2009 cmcurr11

Well, I have officially arrived! Let my Junior Year Abroad begin!

Tuesday was one of the most hectic days of my life. Well, that’s not entirely true. Freshman year move-in day takes the cake for that one. However, Tuesday was somewhat stressful. I had to pack everything that I need for a year into two suitcases. It was difficult, to say the least. But, after unpacking everything, I am proud to say that I only forgot my card reader and my mini booklight, both of which can be easily replaced or shipped. But let’s not get ahead; there’s an entire saga to relay.

I left Atlanta on Tuesday night. When I separated from my parents at security, yes, I was a little sad because I’ll be away from them until Christmas, and then once again for six to eight months. But that’s not the point of this entry. Even though I was somewhat sad, I was more ecstatic (sorry, Mom and Dad) because I knew what was ahead of me. The plane ride went very smoothly. I met a couple of American students who are also studying in England; one of the guys that I met actually goes to Williams and he’s studying at Exeter College for the year. I went through Customs without a glitch. But here was where the fun began. Remember how I had packed two suitcases? In addition to those checked bags, I still had my backpack and a rolling carry-on. Both of my checked bags were rather heavy (one was 50 lbs, and the other was 57 lbs), and I still had more weight to carry because of my carry-ons. Here’s some advice to any students traveling to England next year – the luggage carts (or trolleys, as the Brits call them) are free to use in Heathrow; it isn’t like American airports, and I wish that I would’ve known that. Anyway, I was meeting Carrie and Terminal 5, so I dragged my luggage to the train. Last year, I just took a train to Terminal 5 and hopped on the Oxford bus. Well, there is no train to Terminal 5 anymore. Then 5 different people told me how to get to Terminal 5 in five different ways. Finally, I found the bus to Terminal 5, hopped on it and dragged all of my luggage behind me. I found Carrie, and we were off to Oxford. You know, typing this traveling experience out does not do it justice. I think I’ll have to request the security video from Heathrow to show you all what an ordeal it was!

Anyway, we arrived in Oxford, grabbed our keys to our residences, and moved in. The first night, I just unpacked and I was unconscious by 10:30 p.m. Since then, I’ve been unpacking bit by bit, and I’ve set up my room quite nicely. I even bought a rubber ducky hamper (I believe that this is the highlight of my year abroad, so far!). I’m living in a single, and it’s about half the size of a typical dorm at Holy Cross. I have the typical desk, wardrobe, bed, computer chair, and easy chair. The room also has a sink and cabinet, and it’s wonderful to be able to brush my teeth in my room. The kitchen and bathroom area are shared between the seven other people who live on my hall. All in all, it’s a great living situation.

As for Oxford, it feels like I never left. Everything has been fantastic so far. The only part that I’m still rather nervous (well, that’s not the right word) about is getting my own food. I’m so used to Kimball that this is going to be quite the switch for me. It’ll all work out; don’t worry! But the actual city of Oxford is fantastic. The people here have been so helpful, and I feel perfectly situated. I won’t say acclimated just yet because I haven’t started classes. My first class is on October 9th, and then my next one is October 13th. Yes, I already have essays assigned. I’m just so excited for this year to really begin! Until then, though, I have to attend various Orientation (or, as they call it, Induction) meetings, but life will soon begin here in Oxford. How exciting!

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