Life | Adjusting to UK

Monday, 3 October 2016

' I ' M   D O I N G   O K A Y '

I tell my friends and family when they ask online. Their names lit up on my dying phone. I smile when I text them. I send pictures of the streets, the food and my university.I miss them since leaving for University a few weeks ago.

Things have changed since then. Now, I walk back to my flat with a Costa coffee cup in hand. This has become my afternoon routine in Exeter, Devon.

It isn’t glamorous but it’s new.

I promised a post on 20th September, but schedules changed and things happened.

Mostly, the realisation that moving to a new country would take more than two weeks to settle. Moving to a country like the United Kingdom, colder and greyer than Brunei’s equilateral heat, took nearly a month to adjust. As it did in my case.

It’s October now, and I still feel like a traveler in Exeter. A small town of 150,000 where I walk everywhere, surrounded by grandparents. Though minuscule compared to cities like Bristol or London, Exeter remains a grandiose change from Brunei. From the weather to the people.

The wind gets colder and rain is frequent. The people enjoy chatting and drinking. While I am still huddled in several layers, with only tap water, and consistently in awe.

Bruneians in UK warned me about the culture shock. The slam of new ideologies hitting you. A surprise even in casual conversation. One awkward occasion comes to mind. It took me two days to realise knackered meant tired from my flatmates. To which I say, ‘That makes no sense.’

They shrug and drink their tea.

It is then, sitting around the common room does it dawn on me I am foreign here. We speak the same language, but still I am a minority. Applicable to questions like ‘Where are you from?,’ ‘Why is your English so good?’ and ‘So what are you?’

Questions, though not uncommon in Brunei, pops often here. A curious but genuine way so I can explain my race or religion. To which I’ll discuss the answers some other day.

I’m still adjusting to my new home.

Three years in UK seems long but will quickly pass. When people tell me, they revel or sigh. I’m not sure how I feel yet. I am excited for classes, and I celebrate living alone. Yet there are still nights, I look through photos and wish I was there.

These feelings will change, just let me adjust.

How did you adjust to Uni life?