Dragon Tales: Student embraces relaxed Lincoln vibe

Cars drive on Brayford Way in Lincoln, U.K.

Cars drive on Brayford Way in Lincoln, U.K.

Sunday night runs its typical routine. Corin Puhalla, mass communications junior, saying, “Assume the position,” as we walk into the living room with blankets and pillows and flop onto the couch. We grab the delivery menu for the local pizza venue, Best Kebab, order the largest amount of food possible for £10, turn on Netflix and watch four episodes of Gossip Girl.

There are limited activities that one can do on a budget while in Lincoln. Back home MSUM holds activities for students on campus hosted by the Dragon Entertainment Group or Dragons After Dark. Activities for students at Lincoln run thin.

However, I can’t sit with pizza hanging from my mouth and complain about the limited amount of activities when, in less than a month, I will be traveling to London, and Ireland the following week. When I compare my current life in Lincoln to the life back home, I can’t help but notice the amount of free time I have.

Back home the average student has homework every night, extracurricular activities and organizations each week and a part-time job piled on top of personal problems, a social life and a significant other. In Lincoln I don’t have a job or homework every night and definitely not a significant other (unless you count Netflix).

It is nice, though, to come to England to relax with friends and enjoy walking around town, taking pictures of scenery when it’s not raining. I keep reminding myself that when I get home I will be overwhelmed and suffocated by the busy lifestyle awaiting me.

At the University of Lincoln, students are assigned a 2,500 to 3,000-word essay, presentation or project that is due at the end of the semester. No quizzes, exams or weekly homework; just a single project. The only thing tested is one’s time-management skills and a student’s ability to stay up for a week straight at the end of the semester when all the projects are due.

I haven’t traveled much yet, but have been planning and organizing trips to start during March. London, Paris, Italy and Ireland are only a few countries on my list to see.

Corin already went to Paris last weekend with her father. She left with eagerness to finally get out of Lincoln’s city limits, although she returned without a cellphone. Pick pocketing is considered an art or career in Paris, and many people will take advantage of American tourists. While visiting one has to be on high alert. Besides being pick pocketed, Corin thought the people in Paris weren’t as “welcoming” and understanding of Americans as they are in Lincoln, although the language barrier could have been a contributor.

Of course one doesn’t go to Paris to make a ton of friends; they go for the architecture, museums crammed with historical art and a freshly made crepe.

“The architecture is beautiful, and every building is exquisitely crafted,” Corin said. “It kind of makes America look like a slab of concrete.”

Traveling is what I was most excited about when I arrived in Lincoln, even though I have not done much of it yet. I feel like people back home think we are traveling all over the United Kingdom, with every weekend a different destination, but we are actually living as English students. We are fully immersed in the culture, living exactly as students at the University of Lincoln live.

We go to classes every weekday, work on homework or go out on the town every weekend, have movie nights with friends and watch Netflix sometimes. It’s similar to living back home, except you can hop on a train and travel to London or Paris in a weekend, people talk differently and it’s way warmer.

Students here are keeping us entertained. They are always inviting us to go out or watch movies with them at their apartments.

In addition, the media department is always looking for student volunteers for projects. Just last weekend I volunteered to be an actress in a student film. There might not be outrageous events like the ones back home, but it’s a different culture with different activities to participate in.

‘Til next time, xoxo Samantha Stark


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