The End of Semester One

I cant believe I’ve been here since August, and its already December. In so many ways, I still feel so new here and yet part of me feels like I’ve been here for years. This blog is long overdue but I’m so busy here, I barely have time to sleep, nevermind reminise about what a wonderful time I’m having!!!

So:SUNY. Its a beautiful campus and its very busy. Living downtown can be annoying but the free buses solve that problem. I’m so glad I moved off campus – nothing against Alumni, but I personally didnt want to share a bedroom or a bathroom for a whole year. I live with a great bunch of people in a lovely house with a porch – its all very quaint. In order to match the credits neccessary at Glasgow, I had to do five classes – it didnt matter the level, but I did four 300 classes and one 400 class. My classes lasted an hour and twenty minutes, which is so long in comparison to Glasgow’s 50 minute classes! Mid-terms hit you unexpectedly and then you dont stop until you finish your finals.There is a lot of reading to do and homework which keeps you busy every night. But all work and no play makes you boring.

Its really easy to get involved on campus. Everyone has warned me about how harsh the winter is here, so I joined the International Knitting Club and began knitting a scarf. Its still a work in progress but I’m getting there and it will keep me all wrapped up during the cold winter months! I was also part of the dance council, particpating in 2 dances, until I realised the date of the dance show clashed with another show that I was a part of. The A.S.U.B.A (Albany State University Black Alliance) fashion show is THE event of the semester and I was lucky enough to be selected to model in the show. Rehearsals were tough but so worth it when you walk out to a crowd of 500 people all cheering. I also joined the church on campus, which is inter-denominational so anyone can go. They also provide a meal after the service so everyone can socialise together which is really nice.

The nightlife in Albany is so different from Glasgow, which is artsy/grunge/cool. Albany has fewer clubs and theyre mostly hip-hop/rnb. Obviously 21 to drink but a few places let you in if youre 18. And typically, lots of places have separate queues for girls and guys; the girls can walk straight in but the boys have to wait. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but ‘bump and grind’ is something to behold in all its sordid glory! It certainly takes some getting used to…Frat parties and house parties happen every weekend, just be careful as the police have a tendency to break them up if they get too loud and there is a mad rush of underage bodies scrambling over fences to get away.

And, the best part about coming to Albany: New York City. Its only 3 hours away by bus or train; visit megabus.com or the greyhound website. If you book far enough in advance, you can get the megabus for about $6 return. I’ve been numerous times now; I’ve visited as a tourist with friends to go on tour buses and sight see, I’ve been at the top of the Empire State Building at 2am, I’ve been on a boat cruise around the Statue of Liberty, I’ve visited as a New Yorker, shopping and partying in the city that never sleeps, I’ve walked in the famed Greenwich Village Halloween Parade and ran up 6th avenue dressed as a mime and I’ve watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade near Times Square, I’ve shopped in Black Friday Sales and partied in Webster Hall till 5am. The city is unbelievable. I plan to be there to see in the new year…

I’m having such an amazing time here. Unfortunately, I know some people who aren’t and they want to go home and skype their families as much as they can. Luckily, I’ve never been a home-sick kind of person, but every now and then, I do miss my friends from home and my family. But I’ve made so many new friends here, friends that I know I will keep in touch with when I leave. The thought of leaving is horrible and it already seems to be happening so fast! I only have about 6 months left; I wonder how much more I can fit into the time left???

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