I am a 20-day old international student in Plymouth, and already, this city has cast a charm over me. It possesses a particular magical element which begs to be discovered, so I have decided to embark on a journey deep into Plymouthian culture, and impart any findings from my Swiss, Finnish, and Papua New Guinean point of view. What I have seen so far is quite grand, truly. Especially when one muses over how people become integrated in a new place.
The beginnings of a stay in a new environment always affect a multitude of emotional roller-coasters, to which my fellow internationals will readily attest. Thus it is vital to have a space where one can become grounded. Freshers’ Week, for example, I might imagine to have the very serious mission of introducing incoming students to the faculties, the university, and to their future studies. Giving the lost 18-year olds and foreigners a sense of purpose and hope, if you will. But in true freshers’ fashion, what this week amounts to in reality is more of a study in serious drinking and partying than anything else. Perhaps Plymouth University should offer that as a possible choice of course. Every British person would pass the course with honors. Indeed, this insane “party till you drop” mentality is very widespread and taken quite literally: one comes across a number of individuals who, by the end of the week, have fallen off the face of the campus due to “freshers’ flu”. Apparently, everyone takes this into account, as long as they can meet as many new people as humanly possible.
To be sure, Plymouth’s party culture is quite extensive, and might prove interesting as the subject of a Master’s degree in anthropology. Or psychology.
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