Last Wednesday it was my birthday. 22 years old. Even though I feel that sounds quite old (in one of my friend’s words, ‘that’s going towards 30!’), I cannot complain. Most people in my college and programme here are already several years older, having some work experience and/or doing a DPhil or second master.
This also counts for most of my new, amazing friends here. I am so glad that in only a couple of weeks I have made some friends that I am sure I will be in touch with for a very long time. Thus, coming back to the topic of my birthday, I luckily had people to celebrate it with (in person).
So what happened on Wednesday? Let me show you.
00.01 – Lea and Nicky were in front of my door with cake, cookies and alcohol to wish me a happy birthday on the immediate start of the day!
Homemade chocolate chip cookies, Cava, a lovely card and a strawberry cake
So it has been almost two weeks ago now since I moved to the UK. Freshers’ Week is next week and only after that my programme will start, so I have really had the time to settle in and get to know the city. Even though I definitely had some mixed feelings when I left the Netherlands,
See the fear, excitement, stress, happiness, and many more emotions in this one expression?
so far I have had a great time. Even though my room is rather small and you can hear my neighbour quite clearly, I love it. I have lots of storage space, which means I have enough room for all the books I brought (I do know that every Oxford ‘what to bring list’ says, don’t bring books, well… yes, so I did anyways).
Moving into my room: no doubt only excitement here right?
Yesterday, I sent in my options for the two C-Courses I will be taking the coming year. One in the first term, Michaelmas, and one in the second, Hilary. While my A- and B-Courses in both terms are set, Topics in English Language (History, Structure and Use) and Research Skills respectively, the C-Courses are special options that your can choose according to your interests.
So yes, according to my interests. This is where the problem starts. As some of you may know and as is reinforced by my Liberal Arts and Sciences background, my interests are very broad. Thus, having to choose between (for one term) about thirty courses (I can choose courses from all strands in the English department) wasn’t an easy task.
Also, an important question I needed to ask myself was: what do I want to focus on? What might be useful courses, thinking ahead of my dissertation?
In less than a month I will be moving to the UK. In October I will be starting the MSt programme in English Language at the University of Oxford. As you might expect, starting this adventure does come with quite some preparations. Besides the organizational preparations concerning housing, healthcare, my college and more, I also already have to start preparing for my MSt.
A little over a week ago I received an email from the English department containing a detailed programme description, including reading lists of my courses. My reaction was something like the following: “This is so cool – wow, this is quite a lot of work – that’s some awesome reading – how I am going to read all those books? – oh wait you only have to read those books indicated with an asterisks – hmm, almost all books have an asterisk in front of them – this is so exciting – this is so scary – Time To Panic”