Deja Vu- Almost

Deja Vu – Almost

Returning to Glasgow is harder than I expected it to be, I must admit.  Having become used to home again over the summer (Nairn, in the Highlands), moving to Glasgow – although I love it – is still another upheaval, with a new set of things I have to get used to.  As I said before, at home, things are usually much the same.  But when you go back to Uni it’s more obvious that while you were away gallivanting across the world with your new friends, your old friends have spent time here without you, bonding, having fun and enjoying different experiences that you weren’t part of.  It’s a bittersweet feeling; having done so much, but also missed out on things here.  It’s also funny, as some of my friends feel like they’ve missed out by not going abroad, while I think there’s an unavoidable feeling you’ve got to expect yourself when you come back – that you’ve missed out.

Getting used to the academic style is also a challenge.  Sometimes I get confused between what I’ve learned at Glasgow and what I’ve learned at Queen’s, even how many courses I’m supposed to take and how often I have to submit assignments.  So I suppose you can feel a bit weird and out of place sometimes.  On the other hand, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by finding that some things I’ve done or learned in Canada are similar to what my classmates learned in 3rd year here.  It’s a pattern of weaving in and out of feeling alien to things and like I’ve always been part of things here, which I guess will take time to smooth out.

I suppose this is part of the whole Reverse Culture-Shock.  I sometimes picture where I’m going to find a computer in the library, get to it and realise I’m imagining the wrong library.  It’s like that weird thing when you wake up thinking you’re somewhere else, and it takes you a few seconds to remember where you are.  It seems silly to have to adjust into something you’ve been used to for 20 odd years, and I didn’t expect it, but it comes down to small things like the fashion, the hairstyles, the lifestyle, the humour, the names of painkillers, the number of courses you take per semester, the style of the lectures and tutorials, the shops, the character of the city which can throw you.  And although I miss things from Canada, it’s the little things I’m so grateful for here; like calling my course ‘Joint Honours’ instead of a ‘Medial’, having ‘New Look’ and, most importantly, BOOTS THE CHEMIST!!

Overall it’s like a double-edged sword.  It’s tough to settle-in, but you’ve just got to consider one question:

Was it worth it?

For me, there is no question:  Returning to Glasgow I can get used to.  But studying abroad was irreplaceable.


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