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The end of semester one is here

Weeks passed by, days left me behind, the clock kept ticking, the end of semester one is here and the holiday season is the best time to indulge in memories of all experiences and challenges that the semester had to offer.

I’ve had to change myself a lot over these weeks as I had to catch up on a lot of reading. It sure was taxing, but boy did I enjoy the course! I had to jumble between seminars, presentations, readings and workshops, and all of this taught me the art of multitasking. One of the highlights of the course study was the group presentations. I’ve had to give presentations in a group for all the modules and this practical exercise had elements of fun and hard work all at the same time. It was exciting waking up everyday to attend lectures that taught me so much, meeting up with course mates and those random plans that were made while studying in the learning commons was an everyday scene.

Days were getting shorter, the weather was getting colder, flu season was at its peak and deadlines were getting closer, but the enthusiasm to witness the first-ever Christmas in the UK was keeping me going. The month of December was quite emotional for me, with the last few lectures remaining, I was sure of missing the buzz that the first semester had.

The assignments and coursework kept me busy during the first half of the holy month. One thing I learned from these assignments was everything that’s taught during the lecture helps you to critically analyse your answer. I am glad to have made notes during the lectures, it’s definitely helped me to remember the small details. It's amazing how the entire batch starts communicating a lot more during the submission week! Frantic last-minute discussions on social media, important information being passed on by class reps, and the nervousness to finish the work on time, the experience was tiresome. The typical life of a student. But the feeling of accomplishment that came along with it was the joyous part.

A Christmas tree and ice sculpture

Being an international student, it was nothing less than a dream come true moment for me to witness Christmas in the UK. It was a delight to see the city gear up for Christmas. Beautiful lights on trees, fancy decorations on buildings and shops, all of these brought with it positive festive vibes that have magical powers to make a person smile.

The highlight of the season was the Christmas light switch on at Albert Square. The place looked heavenly, with live performances and elaborate firework display that left me in awe! What a great start to the season, and it got even better after I visited my first ever Christmas market. I was hoping from one shop to another, the kid in me was thrilled and the warmth of the mulled wine just lifted my spirits, a purely joyful experience that I'll cherish forever.

A stall at the Manchester Christmas Markets

This year, Manchester got its first-ever ice village that had a display of ice sculptures, all of which looked like masterpieces! I have thoroughly enjoyed this escapade and it’ll definitely be one of the highlights of my stay in Manchester. New years eve was another spectacular night at Albert Square. The amazing fireworks made the evening memorable.

It’s holiday time now, but exam stress is beginning to escalate. This will be another phase of my Manchester journey that I am looking forward to, my first exam experience in the UK. It's 2019, a new year, a new ray of hope and I am all set to experience new challenges that are on my way. Can't wait to witness what this year has in store for me, but as of now, I am preparing for the first semester exams!