Damian is now studying at University of Aberdeen with your help. Here are his impressions after the first months of the academic year.
So far, I've done really well in college and I feel good in class (in general, almost all the grades I've taken so far are A). I have a course in chemistry, an introduction to medical sciences, bio and diversity and a course on the brain and mind. The last one is different and very interesting, in addition to the physiognomy of the brain and neurodegenerative diseases I learned and debated topics about creativity and free will, and I'm really curious what we will do next at "The Mind Machine". The practical hours are pleasant, especially when we can see and touch some plants that we have only heard of or only seen in pictures. They do simple things in chemistry, probably because we are in the first year and they don't want anything dangerous to happen (in fact, that's for sure "It's quite difficult to add too much acid - but we never say impossible in the first year lab!", quoted from the laboratory manual). But, to be honest, I was expecting more, or something else. I wanted to learn more interesting things, but often what we receive are things we already learned in high school and teachers, eventually, tell us to learn more at home from books or the internet. At least we learn things more applied to everyday life. After all, information as such does not help you if you do not know how to use it.
Even though it took a long time, I couldn't find a job in the area and I thought about becoming a Deliveroo rider until I will find one or until I am contacted by a pub or a bar where I left my resume. I'm going to have a meeting to have my documents checked and I'll be able to start delivering. Next week I will finally have the meeting for NINo. I felt discouraged when I did not receive any response from the places where I passed or when I received negative responses. I try not to be discouraged, even if it can be hard to find a part time job when I don't have work experience and I have a more "weird" schedule (lab classes are every second week but course hours are fragmented and that makes it harder to attend some work shifts).
Another thing that exceeds my expectations is the cost of living here and the cost as an adult in general. There are many expenses that I did not take into account and there is always a surprise (I did not expect to need 5 pounds a week for laundry). In general, I spent most of my money on food (even if I have accommodation with catering, the system here is weird and you don't always have to eat all week), transport (the bus is very expensive in my opinion and the subscriptions are not worth it, especially when there are 2 companies in the city with different prices that circulate completely differently), clothes, small things, which together become one big bubble, and fun (at first it cost me a lot, not knowing how much things cost here and how often I can go out; I learned that an evening of making lasagna with a wine in 4 friends is more pleasant and cheap than a trip to the city center for the rugby match - I don't even know the rules of the game). At least I can say that I learned very well to live on a small budget and it's not hard. Most likely I will give up the catering option from the moment I go home to bring some pots, start cooking on my own (I will save a lot and I will be able to help my family, who are in debt and have unexpected costs for things around the house; they won't need to fund me for at least a while).
To be able to transform my room into a place that I can call "home" is difficult and I do not know how I will succeed. I expected it to be easy and not to have any problems, but I really have a strange feeling when I sit alone in the room and the noise in the hallway is not from my siblings, or when I go out to see my friends, but they do not have the faces of those I've seen in recent years. I'm thinking of making a "surprise" visit home next week if I find cheap tickets (it could be a good gift for my mother's and one of my siblings' birthday). Luckily, I made good friends for the bad days, or any day, with whom I can spend quality time even if we don't go out to spend on various attractions. And I have good luck with Măriuca, who helps me a lot here. Next year I will probably need to do the same from the beginning, I am thinking of going on an exchange program through Erasmus, and in two years, when I will no longer stay at home, and I will settle in the place where I will stay with friends.
The city is very beautiful to visit, I saw seals in the sea and I want to visit a beach with a colony of seals and go one morning in time to a place where there will be chances to see dolphins. I leave you some more pictures to see what the "Granite City" is like in which unicorns are the national animal (probably due to the discovery of narwhals).
Thank you for your support!