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Am I a fresher?

University of Glasgow’s Fresher’s Week 2015. Hoards of swarming first years. Flyers thrust in faces. Struggling to commit name after name to memory. Scribbling on email lists. Stealing all the free pens in an ever growing free tote collection. Hunting down free food spots. Failing to remember which pub has the best deals on drinks. Struggling to come to terms with the fact that school starts tomorrow.

That is the daytime mayhem of what’s known as Fresher’s Week here. First years are welcomed with a week long party, introducing them to the city of Glasgow and giving them a false hope of what every night in college has the potential to be. All before the first week of classes descend and suddenly the reading lists are upon us and we remember that campus is actually for learning!

What. a. week. Many of the events in Fresher’s week required a Fresher’s Pass, which I did not actually acquire. But I managed to do my thing anyways and attend what seemed like the important events. The Fresher’s Fair was about every single club/society begging for new members. I put my email on more than a few lists: GULGBT+, Wine & Cheese society, Sociology club, FemSociety (Feminist club), rugby sports club and even the golf sports club. I’m probably forgetting a couple, but that’s how many societies there actually are.

It’s during Fresher’s Week too, that the sports club host what they call “taster sessions”. They’re basically two hour time slots where anyone can show up and get a “taste” of what it would be like to either play that sport or be on the squad. They welcome anyone, even if you don’t even know what a soccer ball (whoops football) looks like! I went to the football, rugby, and the golf one, but of those three, I think I’ll stick with the rugby club. I haven’t had that much fun chasing a ball around, tackling and rolling on the ground since I got a puppy. The girls were so rad too though- probably one of the most welcoming groups I’ve been a part of all week. Aside from the fact that they all called me a fresher- even though I’m technically a fourth year- it was a blast. By the end of the night they almost had me convinced that I am actually a fresher, and you know what- I can live with that when it comes to rugby!

I stopped by the GULGBT+ Welcome Tent this week, and had a great conversation about how horrifying the reality of having Donald Trump as president might be. I’m finding that a lot of people here find it pretty funny how seriously he is being taken by Americans. I can’t really say I’m laughing as much as I used to about it…

My flatmate brought up an interesting point the other day though, even though it was about strippers. She was wondering what they do in the UK, because there is no one pound bill- only a solid, quite heavy, coin. Do they throw them? Do they have a deposit box at the stage? What goes on here? I don’t really have any desire to find a strip club here in Scotland, but it made me think of drag shows. In the U.S. it’s a sign of encouragement and support to hand dollar bills to the queens and kings on stage! I brought it up in a conversation with a girl from England while we were talking about RuPaul. She wasn’t exactly sure but we speculated that maybe it had to do with the fact that tickets to a drag show were more expensive here than in the U.S.? I’m not exactly sure how that checks out, but I figure the only way to find out is to find a drag show and go!

This weekend, Glasgow is hosting the first ever Scottish Queer International Film Festival this week! SQIFF began earlier this year, hosting a few film events across the country, but this will be their first full festival- which is really exciting! Most events take place at the Glasgow School of Art, I believe, but it’s not just films! There are workshops about scriptwriting, activism, a feminist porn night, shorts about LGBTQ+ experiences, and more documentaries. It’s 24-27 September, so I’ll have to check it out and let you know how it goes.

But honestly I could not be more excited for classes to start. Two weeks have been spent here and I’m ready to get down to business! After the insanity that was registration (here it’s called enrolment), I officially have four classes! One sociology, one poetry, one writing, and one history class. Stoked beyond belief. Hopefully this excitement lasts all term and not just until my next blog post!

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