Introductions – Yikes!

Arancia, Co-Editor

“Oh my! Ok there’s a girl walking towards you to say hi, just act natural, and don’t let her see you are actually scared to death. Now reach for her hand and…ok done you have successfully met one person, now you “only” have 79 left, gosh!

Why couldn’t I stay home instead of doing this? It’s too much pressure for such a shy person. But, come on, you’ve done this many times it is not your first one…

Oh look another one! Ok: simply repeat what you have done 12 seconds ago and everything will be fine. Good job self! You made it again, hold up though, what was her name again? Wait what? Why is the Counsellor talking to me? What is she saying? Oh my goodness I shouldn’t get this lost in my thoughts.

Well I guess my only choice right now is to smile and nod right? Right? HELP! She asked me if I understood everything; oh no, what will I do now?”

This is exactly what went through my mind on the first day at Oxford (the camp, I’m not a genius nor have I graduated high school yet). Every summer, since I was about nine or ten years of age, I have been sent off to the USA or to Ireland to learn either English, do sports or study biology.

This summer, after wrecking my brain to study for the IGCSEs examinations, my mother decided it would be a good idea for me to go to England to visit universities (because it is never too soon to plan your future, they say) and get a deeper insight on my favourite subjects. I enjoyed the whole experience, don’t get me wrong, it is just that the very first hour feels pretty much exactly like when you get that mini heart attack when you walk down the stairs, thinking your foot is about to touch the following step, but you end up tripping because the step was actually way further down than you thought.

See, the problem is that I was expected to meet 80 people all at once, all in under 30 minutes but I keep arguing that there is no human body, nor mind that can be possibly biologically adapted for this crazy function. So, I spent my first 60 minutes in Oxford trying to, first of all, figure out where I was, what I was supposed to do, and, most importantly, how on earth to feed myself (because, I did check, the kitchen was closed and they had no food left).

I eventually ended up grabbing lunch with some girls that had arrived early to camp like me. I learnt too late though, that all they were truly interested in wasn’t actually eating, but rather shopping (which I deeply despise); meaning I got used as a hanger, holder, advisor, counsellor, time keeper and treasurer for over an  hour and a half.

What made the experience bearable was “Ben’s Cookies” an apparently very famous chain of cookie shops up there in the land of the daily rain (and yes, it did actually rain every, single, day for a month).They sold us very tasty, “totally sugar free” and “super healthy” pieces of chocolate melted inside “fat-free” cookie dough.

The ride in the taxi home was surprisingly fun as we got to know each other a little better. I finally understood where Tunisia is exactly located on the map, we talked about school, but also about how Australians really do eat kangaroos as a meal and about what courses we were going take during our permanence at Yarnton Manor.

After 20 minutes in the backseat of the cab we finally got back to the camp; we entered the main house to go and look for the director to tell her we were safe and sound, to find out that around 40 new people had just arrived and were waiting to introduce themselves to each other.

I felt that delicious cookie come back up from my stomach.