Classes at the University of Glasgow

This entry marks my anniversary of being on a flight to LAX at exactly this time and date in 2009! It’s hard to imagine that it was only a year ago that I embarked on such an amazing adventure and journey! Although I can’t do a Janey (from My Family) and say “I’ve found myself!” 😉

It’s been just over 2 months since being back and I think I’ve finally got back into the routine of being back in the UK. It’s not been easy re-adjusting…but with the help of some of my best friend…it’s been easier! The most difficult bit has been getting used to having a room completely to myself…I know it sounds strange and a lot of people probably crave for their own rooms but after sharing a room with Nicola…I can’t help but feel completely isolated in my own space. Despite having a flatmate, I come back to the flat and there’s the irrevocable silence that I used to find comfort in before going to California…but I often catch myself thinking “wish Nicola was here for a good cup of tea”…it’s cute but weirdly needy…I can’t say I’ve ever been a dependent person, used to be very firm on being detached and as independent as possible…a bit like the bag-pack theory from “Up in the air” but…study abroad, Nicola and various other things have completely changed that and now I’m somewhere in the inbetween…

So as you can tell from the date, classes have started in full swing and fresher’s with their nervous faces can be seen exiting the huge lecture theatres in Joe Black…probably thinking to themselves…”fresher’s week was fun, but didn’t sign up for this much work”…or maybe that’s not what they think…but that’s what I remember thinking in my first year 😉 My first year really does seem like a long time ago and it’s quite disconcerting to think, I’m already in my final year…the inevitable question of “what’s after graduation?” has already started to eat at me…

But apart from that, I thought I’d fill all of you in on what it’s like to be back in lectures in Glasgow!

Well it’s obviously different from those in California…for one you have to battle through rain and wind to reach your lecture theatre 😉 and two – as a final year student you have the luxury of having smaller class sizes! With the variety of options on offer at least in the psychology department, it’s a good feeling to have this sense of choice and to attend lectures with a yearning to find out more about topics that fascinate me! One module in particular which is offered by Psychology but taught in the School of Philosophy, called ‘Consciousness’ has certainly grabbed my attention. The topic by nature is so far-reaching and our lecturer, Dr Stuart teaches it with an interdisciplinary twist that engages students from more or less any major. I think we’re very lucky to have someone who’s so passionate about the subject and further still, someone who’s so enthusiastic about the subject as a whole! It’s not like other years where lecturers maybe not be doing any research in the area  that they are teaching about and hence are just reading of pre-formatted scripts! Other options that I’m doing are very similar and overall it’s already starting to look like a year filled with exploration of the human condition! Although, the written work deadlines are slowly starting to eat at me 😉

We should also note that in my absence, the university restructured itself from being faculty based to college based. Not something that affects me that much, but I do have to remember to say the I’m in the College of Science and Engineering and I’m in the School of Psychology. So like the pps in UCSB, I get to say “I’m going to school”. It does take me back a few years when I say that…but it’s like saying “I attend the school of life”…sorry getting carried away with my own musings! Psychology as a department hasn’t changed that much with the obvious exception of increased usage of Centre of Cognitive Neuroimaging.

I suppose this is the point where I should wrap everything up as this is my last blog entry. Hopefully the blog in its entirety has documented all the highs/the lows/the weird and the wonders of my study abroad year. I don’t think I can give any advice to future study abroad students apart from saying “go for it and don’t look back!”. Admittedly, financial planning is required. So before you apply do take account of how much money you can pool together and do consult the international advisors, myself, fellow SASA writers on the site for a good estimate of all the costs involved. To be honest, after speaking to others who studied abroad, I’m convinced it’s not really about where you go, it’s more about who you meet and what you do as part of a group. Obviously where you are determines the range of activities and possibilities open to you, but by no means does it define you study abroad experience. So have a look at what you can afford, which places you’d be interested in going to and then just take the jump! I think we’re very fortunate to have links with so many institutions abroad and it’s really up to us as individuals to make the most of these opportunities!

My gratitude goes to all my friends abroad who welcomed me in California, friends at home who helped readjust, Linda, Ray, Frank, Nicola and my family for all their support throughout!

On that note, I hope you’ve enjoyed my musings and I look forward to hearing about your experiences from your year abroad!

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