Applying for a visa to study in the United Kingdom was quite a daunting task. Up until now, all these formalities were taken care of by my parents; all I had to do was to turn up and have a good time. But now that I would be living by myself for a whole year with my parents around 6500 miles away, I was apparently old enough and responsible enough to take care of this all on my own. After reading a zillion documents on which form to complete (I had to fill in two out of 2892632 forms on their website) and how to complete them, filling them out by hand, rewriting all my information after finding several mistakes, submitting an online application after learning that all my previous work was wasted, and waiting several days filled with dread (okay, I’m dramatizing, but still, you get the idea), I’m happy to announce that I’m (finally) tension-free – I GOT MY VISA.
So I gleefully turned to the next task – packing. I love packing. I don’t know why people grumble about it so much; you just take a bunch of stuff and unceremoniously dump it in a bag. No need to bother with the organization of it all, after all, who cares about all that when you’re allowed 40 kilos on the flight?
But when you’re a girl, you end up wanting to take much more than you need. My bed is now filled with clothing, arranged in several piles. I’m going away for one year, gotta take ALL my clothes with me, right? Wrong. Mom walks into my room, gives one glance at my bed, and shudders involuntarily. You have too many clothes, and you won’t be taking all of them. I already have one bag filled with bedding and utensils that are necessary. Because clothes are apparently not.
Then, shoes. I pulled out all both my trainers, all my flats, and all my heels. Dumped both trainers and all flats into the bag, and then handpicked, after much hesitation, six pairs of heels. Like I said before, I’m going for a whole year. And fresher’s week (or WeekOne as it is known in Nottingham UK) is supposed to be full of hardcore partying – I can’t possibly wear the same thing twice, right? Again, wrong. How can you wear heels when it’s snowing? Like it snows the whole year around. I gave in a little, but just a little – I packed four.
Next, bags. Now bags at least you will admit that variety is required; the argument of whose gonna keep track of what shoes you have on doesn’t work here. So I take all my bags out of the closet, unload them on my bed, and again, after much hesitation, I pick six. Luckily there was no argument there. Clearly moms also feel that six bags are alright. Or maybe they’ve run out of silly excuses - no need to pack sleeveless clothing, it’s always cold there, or why do you need so much stuff? Its only one year, you’re not moving there!
And then dad walks in. His eyes sweep across the mess that is my room, and delivers the mother of all silliest statements - Don’t forget you’re going there primarily to study!
Kill me now.