My first year at Durham University

Students walking down stone steps

Dana, one of our former students from UAE, tells us what it's like to be a progressed student and what she's looking forward to in the next year of her studies. Read about her experience at Durham University and her journey through the International Study Centre in this blog.

With my first year of university at Durham completed, it is safe to say that I never expected it to go by this quickly. I remember moving into my dorm in Collingwood College like it was yesterday, and every fresher’s event is still engraved in my brain. Given what the entire world had to face the past year and a half, I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity I had to experience whatever fraction of what my ‘first year’ was supposed to be like and how much it changed me as a person. However, as much as I have enjoyed being a fresher at Durham, there are so many more things to look forward to as I go into my second year, and I honestly cannot wait to return to uni, my new home away from home.

The first and by far most exciting part of my second year is that I’ll be saying goodbye to college dorms and hello to my beautiful new house. Although living in Collingwood College was one of the best years of my life, I cannot wait to live in an actual house with my best friends—a house with our own front door and kitchen. Not that I can be trusted with a stove, but I am eager to test out some recipes and host dinner parties, as I was never able to do those things in my first year accommodation.

Another thing I am looking forward to is being more productive as university facilities are slightly farther away. Once I am back in Durham, one of the first things I will be doing is signing up for a gym membership and taking it seriously (I say this every year but oh well!). The past year was a little different for me, as I was always used to a structured schedule that sorted my life out, however life was a lot freer because of the lockdowns. For this upcoming year, I plan to set a strict daily routine that I will follow, from going to the gym and playing more sports, to studying for what I love—basically being independent in my adult life.

Last but not least, I am looking forward to feeling more settled. As I go back to Durham this September, I will go back knowing my way around the city and University campus, who my true friends are that I can rely on, and generally just feeling like I am home. I know that I am ready to face all the challenges that will be thrown at me this year and will take advantage of every special moment that I will have.

For now, I will continue to enjoy my summer in the lovely Dubai heat and get ready to go back to Durham in September. Wishing everyone a lovely summer, and I hope you are just as excited to start this new journey of life as I am!