It’s been a week since I’ve moved in to Ian Baker at UCL.
It’s been fun meeting lots of freshers and other international students in my
house. Classes have not started yet (Oct 1), but it’s Freshers Week and all the
freshers have events to go to. I imagine if you are a frosh, you’re probably
already on campus or at frosh camp by the beach right now. :D Frosh Camp is
awesome-instead of having introductory lectures on campus, Caltech really
spoils you by taking you to the beach with your entire class. I was a UCC last
year (go Austria! :P) and my group enjoyed all the events, especially Study
Habits ;) I’m excited for Freshers Fair tomorrow, where all the clubs and
societies showcase what they do and give you a ton of free stuff. The student
union here is quite active in putting on events every day for students during
Induction week, including tours, trips, clubs, comedy shows, and theater
productions. There are so many events that you cannot physically go to all of
them. UCLU does provide lots of student discounts-I can’t wait to go see Les
Miserables in about two weeks. Yesterday I visited the National Gallery (most museums have free admission!), Wesminister Abbey, and Big Ben. I love how UCL is in central London, so most things are at a walkable distance or a tube ride away.
My hallway is all freshers except me, and most of them are
from England. Surprisingly, they find my American accent cool (I thought they would think that I sounded dumb or uncultured) and their British
accent boring (Their accents are definitely cooler! I wonder if I can get one
after being here for 3 months hehe…) Last night in the kitchen we were discussing
different words, slang, and idioms we use. I’ll end this post with a small
guide to British words and phrases I’ve learned:
Everything’s gone pear shaped: everything’s gone wrong
Toilet/Loo: bathroom or restroom. Apparently they don’t use
the word restroom at all. (Who rests in the toilet anyways?)
Rubbish bins: trash cans
Fit/Peng: Good looking
Butters: Not so good looking
Quid: I think our equivalent would be bucks? i.e.£5 = 5
quid. $5 = 5 bucks.
“That’s awesome!” is truly an American phrase. The freshers
try to imitate the way I say it haha. They like to say “That’s brilliant!”
I’ve heard the word “posh” quite a bit as well, but I guess
we use that less. Any words similar to that?
“All right?” is a greeting, kinda like “What’s up?”
And because I’m a chemist, methyl and ethyl are pronounced
mee-thyl and ee-thyl (mindblowing right?).
Usually, while writing this post, I would be at Caltech playing volleyball. I begin school eith preseason, which for those unfamiliar (or are planning on joining women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, men’s waterpolo, or cross country) is a 5 week long period before school begins where the sports teams I listed before practice and compete. My life during preseason is basically volleyball 24/7. Two practices a day (during school only one) and game days three days a week. No school work to worry about, spending time with my teammates all day, a nice refresher before school begins.
Every year, the Caltech Society of Women Engineers attends the National SWE conference to network with other SWE Chapters and to hustle for jobs. Last year, the event was in Minneapolis, and the year before in Austin. This time around, it’s in Anaheim which is much more convenient for us. Since it is much closer, we were able to send many more delegates to attend and miss fewer classes in the process of doing so.
It’s truly Autumn in Scotland now. It reached 0 degrees Celsius today, or 32 Fahrenheit for you yanks. They’re setting up the Christmas market downtown (as thanksgiving isn’t a thing here they just skip directly from Halloween to Christmas). Snow isn’t falling, but it does seem to be raining every other day. And it’s pleasant, quite pleasant. The rain turns Edinburgh into even more of a dramatic and beautiful city than usually is.