by Bonnie Saberian
I joined Hendon later than the others, after transferring into year two from another university. It was also my first time living in London and my experience of studying in Hendon has been as much about the commute as it has been about the classes. Occasionally my commute would be longer than my actual stay at university. Sitting in the concrete tunnels of the underground, it isn’t long before you, too, become one of the vacant faces staring blankly at the walls and it’s easy to let that mentality seep into your university life as well.
When I first arrived I was taken aback by the sheer diversity at Hendon. I walked into the double doors of the college building and saw just about every race I had ever heard about, read about and seen glimpses of. Having come from Cornwall, my experience of diversity was the one token Indian girl in our year group at school and the one black family in our village. It was a strange experience seeing the difference between the two universities I had attended. I quickly realised that the University in south-east England where I had completed my first year was predominantly white and middle class. It dawned on me that everyone in my classes had had a similar experience of life and a similar upbringing. We had all done gap years, we all had the same sense of humour, we watched the same TV shows and ate the same types of food. At Middlesex there is no predicting these aspects. Your classmate could be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, they might slip into another language when a friend walks by. It’s scary to me to think that had I continued my education in my first university it is possible that I would have left with the unconscious notion that all universities looked the same, and worse, all graduates looked and thought the same.
This year at Middlesex, my last year, I’m determined to leave with more friends and better grades. I want to feel like I took the opportunities that were afforded me. Last year I came through university like a ghost, making only a few friends and leaving as soon as my lectures or seminars were finished. This year the university looks the same and the same people surround me, but I’m awake to it. Somehow the swarms of people that seemed so unfriendly last year, are dotted with familiar faces. After all, how bad can a place be if it has it’s own bagel bakery?