Reading Living: First Semester Summary

Since I’ve told you about the books I read this semester, I think it’s a good idea to fill you in on the rest of student-life with a summary of the semester.

Settling in
The first few weeks here were hectic to be honest. Finding my accommodation on day one was a hassle not just because the weather was comparatively cold but the trekking in this country almost did me in. If you didn’t know, taxis in the United Kingdom are expensive compared to Nigeria. Coming here for the first time? Hold your money or your running shoes. Hell, you’ll need both.

Bank Account
Registration in school was seamless provided you had all the required documentation. Opening a bank account however was so much more complicated. Unlike Naija where you walk in and start the process, here you have to call, be given an appointment at a branch and show up on a specific day. All the branches in town were booked and so I was sent to a branch in Wokingham (an hour away by bus) and given a date one week away. My atm card arrived a few days later in the mail.

National Insurance Number
Apparently, you need a National Insurance Number to work legally in this country and just like the bank, I had to call in to book an appointment and was given a date 3 weeks ahead in Slough ( one hour and thirty minutes away by bus). This was tough because my appointment was for 9am which meant I had to leave home at about 7am in 0ºC weather. I wrapped myself up so much I looked like a ninja.

University of Reading Campus
But all that was in October. By November I was fully settled in. The University of Reading has the most serene campus I’ve ever had the pleasure of studying at. The Whiteknight Lake area is picturesque and you’ll see all of it in my next post.

Mostly Chinese girls, I have the coolest classmates. They have a unique sense of fashion and the figure to go with it. I am ashamed to admit this but my first days in class were a haze because it was very difficult to tell them apart from each other. Till this day, I’m still confused about who is Jane or Melody. It’s my first extensive interaction with Chinese and I’ve come to learn that once you get past the accent, they are the most hilarious women. Oh, and Pun (a Chinese guy) has got this guttural hoarse voice. Half the time he is making a presentation, or a comment in class, I can’t make out what he is saying but I listen dreamily anyway. If you read my posts, you’d already know voice is so my thing.

Age, only a number
To my surprise and utmost pleasure, I got over feeling old really quickly. I put my fears behind me and focused on getting the most out of my lectures which I share in this post. In time, I discovered there were a handful of us in our 30s, 40s and 50s and began to feel right at home.

I want to say the semester has been great but I haven’t seen my first-semester result so it might be better to be quiet. Scratch that, the semester was great in Jesus name! Lol. Marked by academic responsibilities and deadlines, my lectures were on Tuesdays and Thursdays, leaving other days for Group work and presentations and weekends for my photography. Often, we got split into groups for seminar tasks and assignments. Group work was seamless with my group members. We got along and put in the work and I hope our essay result reflects that.

Related: Books I’m Reading For School

We went on a departmental tour of the National Museum of Computing and it was so much fun, I’ll tell you all about it in a subsequent post.

Media Officer 
I took up a media role for Planet Informatics, a society in my department. I made my first video with Adobe Premiere Pro and created enough buzz to see that our event was a success. I got accused of having “too much positive energy”. Even though I don’t see how that’s a bad thing, it made me feel somewhat disheartened.

Pocket Money
I got a small gig blogging for school. It’s not a lot of money but it’s income. Photography makes me just enough to feed and get around so I’ve tried to be prudent with shopping and my expenses in general.

Other Stuff
I taught a Class tutorial for exam revision and initiated our Secret Santa gift exchange which I talked about in a previous post. You should check that out. I also got a few things to decorate my room and I will share that with you as soon as I can. Oh, and I got so carried away, I forgot my best friend’s birthday. She did not take it kindly. I had to do a lot of begging.

Well, that’s about it. School is on break till January but in the meantime, I’ve got two assignments due in the first week of January. It isn’t much of a holiday when you think about it.

As always, thank you for reading!
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