Hello, my dear international friend! I hope you’ve had an amazing start to the year.
I had a great Christmas and a super time celebrating New Year up in the highlands of Scotland. We celebrated Christmas Eve in the Peruvian way – by eating dinner at midnight! I know, strange to eat lots at that time of the night, but then we would open the presents and enjoy all the fun a bit longer.
I don’t really have a tradition for New Year, but this year, my boyfriend Ali invited me to go up to his parents’ house to celebrate what is called Hogmanay! But, what on earth is that? Well, it is a Scottish traditional party where you dance Scottish dances, eat some tasty supper and have a toast at midnight. I danced, laughed and held my boyfriend’s hand during the last and first minutes of the year… It was the best New Year’s Eve of my life, to be honest.
Now, after all the celebrations and family reunions, here we are! Starting a new semester can bring mixed feelings. You’re probably excited to make new friends, go to those activities and events that you didn’t manage to do last semester; but also wondering if you will be able to keep up with the hard work and assignments! Whatever you feel, this adventure is just getting started – and we have one another to share all the things we learn this year!
The beginning of a new year seems like the perfect time to re-consider new ways to do things better. Here’s my list of things that I’d like to do this year, and hopefully it might be useful for you too!
THIS YEAR WHY NOT…
Try something new!
You remember that activity you considered doing? Why not jump in and do it! Dance classes with your friends? Learning a new language? Joining the uni gym? Going to our amazing “International Café”? Many options! (If you are interested in knowing where the closest International Café to you is, drop us a message and we will try to help!)
Plan the year ahead and organise your study time.
Studying hard might not seem like the most fun thing about uni, but believe me, the moment you see all your hard work has paid off, it is so rewarding! What I’ve decided to do is to put all my classes into my phone calendar and set notifications and alarms in advance, so I can always check when I am available and save my study time! That will save you some misunderstandings and will actually give you the opportunity to do more fun stuff if you keep everything organised and up-to-date!
Make new friends and take care of the old ones
I made amazing friends last semester, some are already back in their home countries or in another class, but that doesn’t mean we cannot keep in touch and share our experiences! New friends will come too, and I am sure they will be happy to meet our old friends and make a fun group.
Fitness and healthy choices
Yes, the more comfortable you feel in yourself, the more comfortable you will be around other people and offer them your best! When I start studying hard and eating lots of things that are not good for me, it really affects my performance and my attitude to what I am doing. Keep an eye on your diet and don’t hesitate when you think of joining a gym, sports club/society!
Try your best, if something doesn’t work out or you think it might be too late… well, try again! Starting a new year is an inspiring and exciting time to have new plans! My moto for this year for you? “Start something, a little something. Start somewhere.”
My amazing international friend, I wish you all the best for this new academic year: for your second semester or for your first semester abroad. We are here to help each other and navigate this crazy (and super cool) world of being an international student.
Will catch up with you soon, Happy New Year!