Monday 25 July
First day of school!!! If I could use only one word to describe my first day at UCT it would be… scrambling. So basically, I’m a freshman again. Even though I thought I had a good understanding of the Upper Campus layout and where my classes should be… the acronyms are totally throwing me off and I have to ask people questions all the time. At least I didn’t have my schedule or map out, but I think it was pretty obvious I was out of my element.
There are several ways you can figure out which venue your course will be held in, but none of them have consistent information. So I was literally frantically scrambling around campus for 20 minutes before my first class at 10am to find it. And once I did we found out that the university had double-booked the room! We split the class period so each class could have some sort of intro, so South Africa in the 20th Century was only twenty minutes long today (glad I woke up for that…).
My next class didn’t meet until 3PM so I went to the grocery store to pick up some more food (turns out you aren’t allowed to bring a backpack with you so I had to “check” it…) and then went back to my room and wasted more time.
At around 2PM I took the Jammie back up to UCT and started scrambling again to find my Urban Politics and Administration class. It was in one of the Graduate Student buildings so nobody had any idea where it was when I asked. The class is super interesting but I’m afraid it won’t translate well with my International Relations major as its more of a local government/Political science class… hopefully my AU advisor will e-mail me back soon so I know for sure!
Today was the first day I could feel the culture shock setting in a little bit. UCT is so vastly different than AU. I feel like I’ve met a lot of people so far on this trip, but I still can walk across the entire Upper Campus and not see a single person I know. My classes are pretty small (50-75) compared to the 200-400 person projections I was told about, so that was a relief. I will never get used to Devil’s Peak looming over campus all the time, but that is a change I am very happy about!
Hopefully I will have more luck finding everything tomorrow :)
^Above: Jamieson Hall. One of the main buildings on Upper Campus. (This was obviously taken at night so you can’t see Devil’s Peak right behind it!)
PS: Mom I tried to take a “First Day of School” picture this morning and nothing wanted to cooperate with me :( Another day I’ll pose for one and we can pretend like it was the first day!