My name is Elder Price, and I would like to share with you the most amazing BOOK.
Apologies, apologies — I can no longer say the word ‘hello’, without completing the ritual of singing (if you could call my attempts such a thing) the opening lines to The Book of Mormon, the musical theatre production which is both hilarious, and wildly insulting. Alas, I digress.
I suppose, after six weeks of inactivity, you’re wondering one of two things:
A] OMG IT’S KEL!! HOW ARE YOU — WHAT’VE YOU BEEN UP TO OMG OMG OMG?!
B] … And who are you???
Well, if you’re asking the former, I’m pretty good, actually. I’ve been super busy — I’ll tell you more later –, and I’m feeling OK. If you’re asking the latter, well, you can get stuffed. (Also I’m a lovely person please don’t leave me.)
As some of you may know, at the beginning of September, I started College (which, here in the UK, is the two years between GCSE exams at age 16, and the start of university, apprenticeships etc at age 18). Unlike most, I moved away from home to start college, living over 100 miles away in a rural part of England — very different to the bustling city of London which I am so familiar with. Indeed it’s quite ironic: I visited Birmingham almost two weeks ago, after having spent four weeks in quiet, pretty dead Herefordshire, and the sheer number of people, the noise of the traffic and the intensity of the whole experience made me question, quite persistently, how I ever survived in such an environment 24/7.
Upon reflection, I’m enjoying the peace and tranquility of Hereford, despite the college campus being nothing of the sort. College itself is as hectic as anything, with people everywhere, music blasting out of this window or that at the strangest of hours (God is a Woman at 7:55am, anyone?), and shrieks of laughter (I hope) from all corners. Still, it’s enjoyable, and I’ve settled into such an environment quicker than I could have imagined, or hoped.
I’m studying A Levels here at college — English literature, French, and History. It’s quite strange for me, coming from a very busy, 1200-student strong school, with 30 to a class, to a college where my largest class size is … * counts on fingers * … 5. Yes, 5, and my smallest is 1 — just me, parler-ing in French all by myself — with the teacher, of course.
I’m really happy with my A Level choices. I’m loving English Lit, and have already been labeled ‘nerd’ for my absolute addiction and slightly-unhealthy obsession with Wuthering Heights, one of the texts we are studying. (It’s gripping, OK?) I am, for the first time in my actual life, enjoying studying poetry — I know, what? The course is just really interesting, and I’m finding it so much more open to interpretation and discussion than any GCSE content ever was.
French is fab, but I love French so I”m going to be biassed, let’s be honest. There’s a huge emphasis on the culture and society in France in the A Level course, which I find really fascinating: it’s one thing being able to speak a language, but it’s quite another being able to say something relevant. Additionally, the course involves studying a film and a novel, which I’m really excited about, as I want to actually read a French book, and watch a French film, again to get a little more to grips with the culture and such.
History is also really good. I’m so happy that we’re studying German history (1918-1945), which is a more in depth look at what I studied for GCSE. I found it really interesting then, and still find it so now, looking at the politics, power shifts and the dynamic within the country as a whole. We’re also studying the Tudor era, which I’ve only looked at partially before: I studied Queen Elizabeth’s reign during GCSE. (Side note — King Henry VII is actually a right lad, look him up!)
Socially, things are going well too. I’ve got some really great friends here, some of who I knew before, some who I did not. Regardless, they’re all lovely, and I feel really lucky to have had them around me when settling in, to make sure I”m OK and not going off the rails (which I assure you I AM NOT). All the same, I do miss my friends from home an awful lot, and really can’t wait to see them all again during the October half term, in two-and-a-half weeks. I’ve missed them so much it’s unreal, and sometimes it hurts a lot that I can’t see them, but of course we’re in touch, and that means the world to me too.
Mentally I’m doing OK. I think the environment here really helps: there’s a lot of really positive approaches to things, and an heavy emphasis on viewing yourself positively, and recognising your abilities and strengths. Sure, not every day is a great day, and I’d hardly expect it to be. But the days which are good are really good, so I guess that’s what matters.
Sometimes I miss my friends, or something weird from back in London; sometimes I feel shit about myself, because I didn’t do something right or was a bit rubbish during a lesson; sometimes I just don’t want to be around people, because I’m having one of those days. I still doubt myself a lot, and think that everyone hates me, or at the very least can’t see the appeal of anyone spending time with me, on their behalf almost. But it passes — it always passes –, and I hope, with time and reassurance, that those days will become fewer and farther between.
So, what else can I say? College is good, I’m Ok, and life’s looking up. I think, overall, I’m just really pleased that, after four weeks, I am already able to tell that I made the right choice coming here, and that’s a relief in itself. I’ll try not to disappear for quite as long as I did last time, but I can’t promise regularity in posting — life is so busy here, it’s truly crazy. But I like that, to be honest; it serves as a distraction when necessary, and keeps me from getting too far inside my own head, which is always a plus.