I think I officially got hit by my first wave of homesickness today. It's not intense or anything, but enough so that I feel a little bit down and worn out. I'm just in that awkward phase where I'm meeting people and making some friends at school, but I don't really know anyone well enough yet to call them up and hang out without it being weird, so I'm stuck at home on a Friday night with nothing to do. Thankfully, I am meeting up tomorrow night with a couple of people I know from a summer camp I worked at a couple of years ago who all live here, so that will be good. But for tonight, I sit at home with my book. It's not all bad...I know that as of the 29th when my classes start, I won't have any time to read anything for pleasure at all, so I should take advantage of the time I have to read crappy fiction while I still can.
Still, I look around at people in the dining hall, and I feel a little bit separated from them. My dorm is made up of freshers (freshmen) and first-year grad students, and I can tell that the ones enthusiastically making friends in the dining hall are all freshers. I remember being that way once too-nobody knows anyone, so you try as hard as you can to make friends, because at 18 that really is probably the most important element of being in the dorms. Not so for graduate students, apparantly. It's not that I have trouble making friends; I never have and I doubt I ever really will. But I just don't particularly have an interest in hanging out with 18 year olds who are in the "party" mode, and I gather that most other grad students here don't either. The dorms have suddenly gone from being a social event to just being a place to live when you're not at school. It's an interesting change for me, made more dramatic by the fact that this building is cleanly split in two between 18 year olds and 25 year olds. Still, even though I really don't want to hang out in a group of 15 people at dinner and spend an exhorbitant amount of money on pubs and movies and the like, watching other people do it does make me a little wistful for the social climate of freshmen year. I'm sure as soon as the school year starts and I'm swamped in homework and papers and whatnot, the lonliness will certainly fade. But, for right now, I don't really feel like a 24 year old who is staying in to catch up on her reading, but kind of like a freshmen on the first day of college who doesn't have any friends yet.
But on a positive note, I went and explored the library today. Let's just take a moment of silence for the awesomeness of the UCL libraries.......................................ah.
I found a whole room on paleography (admittedly it's kind of hidden in a back hallway on the top floor behind some offices, because really, who goes looking for paleography books?) and they had a few really cool-looking books on medieval Bibles and the production of sacred art in copies of the Gospels and other really cool-looking books. I already checked out 2 books for fun because I know that starting next week, there will be no more fun reading, even if the books are academic in nature. But that's beside the point. The point is, the library is AMAZING. I would have spent all day in there if I hadn't started getting really really hungry. :) Nerd heaven...