Monday, 15 December 2014

It's that time of year again

It’s that time of year again. You know, when you easily can separate the locals from the rest. And by locals I mean British people, in general. How come, you say? Well, when December comes and it gets colder, an easy way to spot the locals is to watch out for flip-flops, shorts and non-wool sweaters on a windy, cold morning in South Park. When I wake up it’s usually so cold outside that the inside of my flat is like a freezer. So it’s only natural then that I bring my huge, warm winter jacket to Brookes along with winter boots and gloves. My cheeks are so red when I arrive at the lecture that it looks like I’ve been out playing in the snow for hours. And I'm from Norway and probably have viking blood running through my veins. 

The locals, however, don’t seem bothered at all. I have spotted guys wearing flip-flops and shorts on their way to Brookes in the middle of December. I have seen girls walk by in ballerina shoes and v-neck sweaters when it’s raining outside. And I have seen people with huge jackets and  scarfs. And those people with jackets and scarfs are the international ones.

Another thing I’ve noticed since writing my last British vs. Norwegian culture entry on this blog, is that my non-local friends living with the locals freeze their behinds off when their at home. Their British flat mates simply don’t allow these cold poor human beings to turn their heaters on, because god forbid, the electricity bill could get high. Do you know how cheap the British electricity actually is? It’s ridiculously low compared to many other countries! I thought the Norwegians were the stingy ones, but it turns out to be the British. My whole “British people are so much better than Norwegians” thesis should be edited. You cannot be warm hearted people when you must be cold all the time, can you? I don’t know anymore. I do know that I like it nice and hot inside my flat though. And that I still like to be called darling and honey by strangers.

 Speaking of Norwegians. This is probably totally irrelevant to all non-Norwegians, but have you heard of ANSA – Association of Norwegian Students Abroad? They have recently started an Oxford branch! If you’re a Norwegian student studying abroad, being an ANSA member is something you should consider. They can help you with almost anything, from personal issues to discounted flight tickets and insurance. You can find their Facebook page here and their website here. The cost of a year’s membership is £39 and the advantages are too many for me to list them all. Have a look, sign up, and like their Facebook page. ANSA Oxford host regular events for Norwegian students, so keep your eyes open!

Now I'm returning to my revision of political thinkers from the stone age. Yes, it's as boring as it sounds. But when writing this it's exactly 2 days, 13 hours and 28 minutes left until Christmas. Yes, that's how excited I am for this semester to end. 

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Thank you for reading my last blog entry in 2014 - see you next year! 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Brookes 2.0

"If this is what uni is like this will be easy as pie", I remember thinking after my last exam in May. Little did I know what Brookes had in mind for me as a second year student. It's like we've gone from a stroll on a sunny, lazy Sunday to a high speed run on a rainy Monday. No fun, in other words.

My first year timetable was no more than two hours a day with every Friday off. Now it's  9am to 4pm several times a week. To finish on a Friday at 4pm with a heavy lecture on something you can't wrap your head around is challenging, and my brain feels like it's boiled. The modules I do this semester also happen to be exhausting. All of my module leaders are like "this is not an easy module, it will be hard. Be prepared".

I have 9 deadlines this semester and 1 exam, so it's "only" 3 more than last year, but the expectations are so much higher. And if that's not enough it's twice as much to read. I have so much reading to catch up on after writing my last essay where I was forced to just finish the damn thing and skip some of the readings due at the same day as my essay, where I completed the readings several weeks ahead of all my modules last year, I'm now way behind on two out of five modules. The day just doesn't have enough hours for me to finish it all. And with all this I'm really starting to lose motivation. The first semester at Brookes felt like a month or so, but this time it feels like a very, very long year. I have never looked more forward to Christmas.

With all this too-much-to-do-too-little-time thing, my boyfriend suggested online grocery shopping after speaking to a friend of his about it. At first I was skeptical but we gave it a try, and it's truly amazing. I feel ashamed admitting to it though. At least it saves us some money when we shop for the whole week and don't get tempted to buy unnecessary stuff. However, there are disadvantages. When I was doing the online grocery shopping last week my boyfriend wanted some crisps for the weekend. As it was a two for one offer on those particular wanted crisps I bought two. The thing I missed was that it was a 20 pack bag and not a 6 pack bag. So now we have 40 packs of crisps in our relatively small kitchen. I'm wondering what the delivery man thought when he saw that we've ordered 40 packs...

As you probably can tell I'm a bit unmotivated this semester. November has been a very long month. But to end this on a good note, there has been some pretty good things about this semester too! My friends have become even better friends, and the parties have definitely been taken to another level.

I've also attended a British Sign Language class which was really fun. It only lasted for 6 weeks but if I down the line meet a fellow signer I can at least spell the words!

And last, but definitely not least, the weather has been decent. Last year I remember November as an awful rainy month, but this time it has actually been pretty good. You know you live in the UK when three days in a row without rain is something to be happy about.

I guess I just have to pull my self together, find that long lost motivation and keep going - pedal to the metal I guess. At least Christmas is slowly but steadily approaching :)