This is a piece I wrote at the end of my first year:
It is the 13th of May, 2017. This marks the 202nd day since I first stepped foot in Dundee. The journey was quite long: driving from my home in Lagos, Nigeria to the Muritala Mohammed Airport. I took a 6-hour flight on British Airways — LOS to LHR. Transferred from LHR to EDI. Took a tram from the Edinburgh Airport to the Haymarket Station. Took a train from Edinburgh Haymarket to the Dundee Rail Station. This was followed by a 5-minute taxi ride from the Dundee Rail Station to my accommodation, Belmont Flats.
As I write, I lay down in my bed that has suddenly become comfortable after 202 days of sleeping on it. What is currently on my mind? Well, I am thinking of all the things I have to do before I leave for summer; it has been such an eventful year and next year has even more in store!
My name is Stephanie Nkemakonam Anani. I was born and bred in Lagos, Nigeria, but have sought out educational experiences in the UK since I was 16. Before I came to the University of Dundee, I attended a super-hippy liberal International Baccalaureate Sixth-Form school, United World College of the Atlantic, Wales — yes Wales. I currently study Civil Engineering at the University of Dundee and have absolutely loved my first year.
Before I arrived, I had a clear picture of what the university would look like — thanks to the virtual tour. When the taxi driver dropped me off with two of my heavy suitcases in hand, I made my way to the Sanctuary Students Office to collect my room keys. When I walked into their office with my two heavy suitcases, I told them which flat I will be living in, there was a moment of silence in the room; my room was on the top floor of a building that didn’t have an elevator. Fortunately, the maintenance guy helped me carry one of my suitcases up three flights of stairs as I carried the other — bless him.
I then opened the door of my flat, slightly anxious to find out if those pictures online were true — as they rarely are — and more importantly whether my flatmates were reasonably nice. I walked straight into my room and everything was exactly how I saw it online — what a relief. Not too long after, I heard a knock on my door, as I opened it I saw one of the friendliest faces I had ever seen — like honestly. It was my flatmate Rebecca; she was going away for the weekend but gave me one of the nicest welcomes I’ve ever had. Beside her stood Alex, another one of my 5 flatmates. He stood with a smile on his face which was welcome enough. An hour later, I met another one, Sarafina: one of the most vibrant people I’ve met in Dundee, she too welcomed me with so much warmth.
As I slept on my bed that night, there was some sort of peace in my heart. I knew I had made the right decision. Dundee was the right decision.