I can only describe my Loughborough experience as thrilling and filled with challenges which have helped me clarify my weaknesses and enhance my strengths.
To set the scene, let me introduce myself a little: My name is George and I was born and raised in Romania, more exactly in the region of Transylvania (a.k.a. Dracula’s home), so you can imagine I have had a pretty awesome childhood. Thus, I must say that making the decision to study International Business in the UK was both something that I was looking forward to, and something that I was terrified of. Although I have been a sociable individual my whole life I feared not being able to fit in and, moreover, I was sure that I was going to miss home. This being said, I was ready for a challenge, and I felt that Loughborough was the best place to take on this challenge.
When I arrived in Faraday Hall at the beginning of Freshers’ Week I was instantly amazed by the attitude of everyone I met. From the Fresher Helpers to my new block mates and the University staff, they all acted like they had known me my whole life. I instantly made new friends and I overcame my first fear, the one of speaking freely in English. Now, a year later, I feel just as comfortable speaking in English as in Romanian. My introduction to Loughborough University and the Students’ Union then continued with Freshers’ Week, which cannot be described in words, it can only be lived.
My next goal was to get involved in as many activities as time allowed me to. At first, I wanted to do this just to keep myself busy and to be sure that I didn’t have time to miss home, but as I got involved I began to enjoy each project and responsibility I had and to be proud of every positive result. I began by running for a Programme Representative role which I obtained just by happily offering a helping hand to anyone in need. I later joined the Loughborough Apprentice Competition together with an all-Romanian team and our work and creativity payed off when we came first.
I have always thought that helping the less fortunate people is not only a way of improving their life, but also a way of discovering and developing yourself. This is why I joined Enactus Society and I hopped on the Utilise Project. Working as one in a team which encouraged diversity, we were able to divert tons of food from going to landfill and to offer a weekly hot meal to paying and non-paying customers. On the same principle, I joined the Social Storm competition, a 24-hour straight hackathon in which I worked online with students from over 15 universities worldwide towards tackling global issues such as food waste and sustainable housing.
Overall, I consider my first year as a Loughborough student a success. I feel like I have improved myself as a person and I have overcame all my fears. I also found out that being an international student is not even close as scary as I thought. For me, it was just an extra reason to prove everyone what I am capable of.