The sixth week
Today is Day 48 since I arrived at Warwick. I haven't posted in a few weeks, but that simply means this one will be longer - so much has happened since.
Firstly, the weather has been beautiful ever since I've been here. I won't deny that it has been a slight challenge adapting to the colder weather in Autumn here (with layers and layers of clothes/coats/scarfs, no doubt), but something that I still cannot adapt to completely is the gorgeous scenery. Here's a shot I personally took on campus, along Library Road:
As cliché as it might sound, every time I walk past this scene, I take it all in silently and am truly thankful to be here. I cannot stress how much this scene soothes my tired eye on my way to and from lectures. And by that, I don't mean that the academic load is too stressful in any way! We've had a couple of online tests in the past two weeks, and I genuinely feel that it is a fantastic method to let us know how we are coping with the course content. On the other hand, the various extra curricular activities that I've been involved in have been time-consuming, yet extremely satisfying and enriching.
Firstly, AIESEC. It is the world's largest youth organization with connections in numerous countries around the world. Their sole purpose is to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for all countries, which were developed in conjunction with the UN. This is done through linking up students with volunteering and professional internship opportunities with partner firms/countries around the world. As part of AIESEC Warwick, I am involved in the Outgoing Global Talent (OGT) function, which focuses mainly on educating our fellow students about the professional internships, and at the same time guiding them through the whole process should they decide to take up the challenge.
On 15th October 2016, I was invited to attend the day-long 2016 AIESEC Regional Induction Conference at Nottingham, and I must say it was truly an eye-opening experience. Besides the fun I had through the various activities along with the opportunity to meet, network, and make new like-minded buddies, there was one underlying message that I took away.
"YOUR JOURNEY IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT. ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS."
This resonated with me partly because it is something that I feel strongly about as well. Having taken the tough decision to study so far away from family and friends, I can either chose to let it hold me back, or I can use that as motivation to push myself and make the most of my experience since I'm already here. It is such a phenomenal mindset to have, and it is one that I am working towards.
On the 17th October 2016, Iffah and I both were invited to the Warwick Scholars' reception to network with other scholars as well as members of staff, including Mary! It was fascinating to observe the diversity of scholars whom Warwick supports on a yearly basis. I was also surprised to see a few friends/seniors who were benefitting from the scholarship and at the same time were holding executive positions in a number of societies (they were basically what others would label as overachievers). It gave me a further sense of purpose and drive to achieve as much as possible from a Warwick experience. And at this point I had my greatest takeaway from this reception:
"ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES I NEED ARE RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. I JUST NEED TO REACH OUT AND GRAB THEM."
There are no excuses for me to not develop my passions/interests/character because there are simply so many chances to do so. Thus I was proud to be amongst this excellent society of scholars. In fact, we were invited to go to the Hippodrome Theatre in Birmingham to watch The Nutcracker, performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet on the 7th December, and I am very excited for that event, which Iffah and I will both be attending!
Deepavali was also a time of celebration for me, and this was honestly unexpected. I attended a cultural event at the Warwick Arts Centre on the day of Deepavali, which was jointly organized by a few of the Indian societies in Warwick. There were tasty Indian desserts and fantastic cultural performances including dances and songs: it was great to see all my Indian friends celebrate together.
After which we headed to the nearby temple in Coventry to do prayers and had dinner at the temple, a treat in itself. Not to let the night end on a low, we went to the nearby field and watched the fireworks which were prepared and played with sparklers! I must say that initially I didn't expect much on Deepavali day because I was away from home and felt sad even that I couldn't spend Deepavali with family. But through the celebrations I made new friends, enjoyed appetizing authentic Indian cuisine, and overall, felt like I was celebrating Deepavali back home. Deepavali this year was really interesting and I'm looking forward to next year's celebration already :)
Overall, it has been a fantastic experience thus far at Warwick and even though it's been really fulfilling for me, I feel slightly upset that time is passing so quickly because I'm enjoying myself a great deal. However, it also means that everyday that passes here is a day closer to seeing my family, who I miss more than I thought I would. In that sense, I suppose there is always something positive to look forward to no matter how dim the situation. So here's to making the most out of the rest of Term 1 at Warwick!