Hello again friends and family, it has again been a little while since last time but I am now back with another update on how I'm spending my time here in Sheffield.

During the last month I have been back home in the north, spending most of my time on exams and exam preparation and the rest of the time with my friends and boyfriend. Exams have finished and the semester has started, with new modules underway and assignments slowly piling up one by one. New textbooks have been bought and I am more than ready to start again after my time at home in Abu Dhabi.

I finished my two psychology exams within a couple of days after I arrived back in Sheffield after xmas, and I then had a written sociology exam a week later, so time was short and a lot of work had to be done. It reminded me a little of being back doing A levels and the pressure I was under during those two years, but now that I can handle stress very well, I didn't struggle much this time around.

The next two weeks after exams I had no commitments to university so I spent my time wisely...my liver would most certainly disagree. It was good to be reunited with my friends again, catch up and to see my course mates. I am very much enjoying the new modules for this semester, with Neuroscience as one of my favourites, as well as Essential Social Psychology. We have also started statistics, which is not really my thing, but I'm hoping it will be after I get a hang of it.

After a month apart from Elliot, I have also spent most of my time with him. Wether its walking to uni, studying together, making dinner, going on dates or nights out. We are really a couple now, and you can't really get one of us without the other! However, we do also spend time apart, doing our own things with our own friends. For his birthday, we spent most of the day together, we went out for lunch and then out to a few bars and a nightclub with his friends. I think he really enjoyed it, I certainly did.

For valentines day, (I've never really seen this day as anything special previously) I booked a table at a restaurant in town and we went out for a meal in the evening. The food was delicious and the company was even better, we will definitely be going back for other occasions. I ate more than I knew I was capable of, but it was definitely worth it!

Corporation Wednesdays is still one of my favourite nights out here in Sheffield, where we dress up in 'school uniforms' and go to the 'Skool Disco' mainly to get 'absolutely trollied' and have blue pints of some type of alcohol spilled down your top. The night usually ends at pizza roma where I usually devour a whole pizza and walk all the way home with my sensible and quiet friends, chips are also a popular night snack for many.

My mum arrived to Sheffield on Friday and is staying here for a week with me to see what my life is like here and to meet the people I spend my time with. I will write a post later on to update on how the week went and what we have been up to and what we have seen,

I hope you all are well, and that life is treating you gooooood!

- Hannaaaaa

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I haven't been in touch since November, and I've only just now really found the time to sit down and write something. The last month has been very busy for me, with house hunting, contract signing, assignments, friends, family and finally flying home. There have been some large adjustments in my life, realising that I've signed my own first contract for a house, preparing to go back home to see my parents for the first time in three months, going home (properly) for the first time in seven months and also realising that its not only myself that I care about now, but also a special person I've met at university.

I am now sat in my (very large) room in our apartment in Abu Dhabi, looking out of my bedroom window at the city skyline lit up in the dark. A completely different view to what I have become used to in Sheffield, where my bedroom view is straight into a bush. It is such a pleasure to be back where I have grown up and spent ten years of my life, driving down the same old roads and seeing my childhood memories flash by through the car window when we drive past all the places I used to go. Today mum and I went to the older part of Abu Dhabi, around Zayed gold souk and World Trade Center souk in town, retracing our steps from before summer and A levels, going to the local shops and eating local bread with Hummus. The temperature here is around twenty five to thirty degrees with constant sunshine and maybe a rare cloud, if you're lucky.

Before I left Sheffield, I got to experience snow for the first time in around five years, which was very exciting. Had you seen me you probably wouldn't think I was twenty, but more like five, jumping around and sliding all over the place. So coming home to constant warmth and sunshine has left me a little (well.... very) sunburnt. Although I may have lived here for ten years and adjusted to the climate, I have discovered that I can turn into a lobster (if I fall asleep on the beach).

Three friends of mine (Kate, Helen and Margaret) and I have signed a contract for a little apartment where we will be living next year during our second year of University. I am very much looking forward to moving in with my closest friends, and having our own place that we have chosen together. I can already tell that we will be having a lot of fun, although four girls in one bathroom will probably be challenging, we will definitely have sing-offs and random music playing at all times, Margaret blasting ABBA and some random Norwegian rap from her room, and Kate suddenly appearing after one of her spontaneous naps.

Our new apartment is not very far away from Elliot's house for next year (I'm still thinking we should get a tandem bike), which brings me on to another change in my life :)) Since November I have also got a boyfriend. To me this is a very big change as I've always been used to just being me and myself only. However, I am really liking this change, and who knew I'd find someone who's so similar to myself, who's experienced similar things to me, yet we are still different in our own unique ways, balancing each other out. I've always admired people who respect themselves by being unique and not following the larger crowd, having their own opinions, suggestions and goals to stive for that sometimes go against what is currently popular in society. People who take a leading role and influence others in a positive way, with their work, hobbies, passions and even their personality. Elliot is this kind of person, always caring and empathetic towards the people he enjoys spending time with. We haven't been a couple for very long, but it makes me excited to come back home and spend more time with you, knowing that we have so much to do and see together, this is only the beginning of what I know is gonna be an amazing experience!

During the couple of weeks I have spent at home in Abu Dhabi I have recovered from the constant flu I've had at University, caught up on sleep and had some of my favourite home cooked meals. I've really had time to relax and 'come down to earth' again, with time to reflect... and revise. I arrived in Abu Dhabi on the 12th December, at the time of arrival I had lied to my best friend Lucy for about a month saying that I'd be arriving in Abu Dhabi on the 20th December. I knew she was leaving to South Korea on the 19th. This made her believe that she would not be seeing me this Christmas, and that the next time we would meet would be easter. Little did she know that my mum was in on the lie, and that when they met up outside her University I was sat in the car boot ready to jump out when she approached the car. I hadn't seen Lucy for seven months, and we went from seeing each other every day for six years to only being able to contact each other through a screen. To say she was shocked is an understatement when I leaped out of the car and threw myself at her. We spent a long time crying and shouting, the security guard approached us to check we weren't dying, and she shouted at me for lying. But it was worth it. I spent the following days with her and Lara before she left for Seoul, and Lara left for New Zealand for Christmas.

I spent New Years Eve with my parents in Fujairah, sleeping on the beach all day and attending a 'gala dinner' which was everything BUT a gala dinner... UAE in a nutshell.

I still have a few days left here at home before I go home to Sheffield where I'm faced with exams, Elliot and a lot of Tequila (Lil Kate you better be ready).

-Hannaaaaaa :))



I advise you all to take extra care on the roads from now on, whether thats in Norway, UK or UAE, as I have finally got my license...

Last week I went home to Norway for a week to have intense driving lessons for four days straight and my test on Thursday. I returned to Norway after two months here in Sheffield, and I hadn't driven at all. Last time I drove was at the end of the summer holidays, so the end of September and my driving test was last Thursday. The whole going home idea was very spontaneous and I was not prepared at all, and I left for Norway with a strong feeling that I would fail the test and the whole trip would be a waste.

I spent my time in Norway at a family friends house, Nina, as my parents are not in Norway and I didn't want to sit in our empty house alone. I had driving lessons every day with up to 3 hours driving, with a ´driving in the dark´ course at night and the test looming closely at the end of the week. It was sunny the whole week, except for the day of my test, and I was so sure that I would fail so I was really not looking forward to it. Im usually always nervous before tests anyways, and sometimes it ruins it for me, but somehow, I managed to remain calm and when the invigilator at the end said ´Hanna Sofie (long pause) congratulations, you passed with no faults´, I almost cried. Little did he know I hadn't been driving for 2 months.

So, Lucy and Lara, I´m definitely driving us to Dubai during xmas :)))

Whilst I was home I also ate some homecooked meals, which were amazing (thank you Nina). The food was probably one of the things I was most excited about before I left, and I did come back to Sheffield with an overweight suitcase and kilos of Norwegian food

After my test, my brother came to visit me from Oslo, which was really lovely as I havent seen him since the middle of summer. Thank you so much for coming to see me for a little while, I cant wait to show you around Sheffield! I miss you :))

fårikål :))

This week I have been busy being social, celebrating Solfrids birthday, and working mostly. I also went to Dronfield with Louisa for a sunday roast which was lovely, thank you so much Sue!

It is now almost a month till I go back home to Abu Dhabi, and I am so so so excited! I keep updated with my friends and family over skype but its not the same, so it will be amazing to see you all again soon! 7 months is too long to stay away from your best friend, so I cant wait to see you again Lucy. Skype becomes a very big part of my life now that I live so far away from the people that are close to me, but it helps a lot when the feeling of homesickness hits me, and it makes me feel a little bit closer to my friends and family at home.

Lastly, just a few photos from this weekend,

Hanna x



On Tuseday this week, the 24th, I turned 20. It was the first birthday I spent without my family, and my best friend Lucy. Despite being so far away, I still had a great day, with lots of lovely people around me and lots of greetings throughout the day! So thank you to all of you who spent the day with me and who sent me a message, it really made my day.

On a day such as this one, it really made me realise how much I appreciate being around people I love, and it also made me realise how much friends and family truly mean. I had a wonderful day, however yesterday (25th) I was left with an intense feeling of homesickness and a longing to go back home to see my parents and my friends. I'm still stuck with the feeling today, but I'm starting to re-adjust to the thought that I only have a little less than two months till I see them again.

It's been said before but distance does make the heart grow fonder.

However, when I do get back home for Christmas, I'll start to realise how quick these three months will have gone, and coming home will be even more exciting. I have reading week starting from the 4th of November, so I am travelling back to Norway for a few days to attempt my drivers test (again.....last time didn't go so well). This very spontaneous decision has got me excited for a little break, and going to Norway means eating all my favourite food. It does sound like I am going 'home', but none of my close family will be there, as my parents are in Abu Dhabi, so I'm staying with some family friends. I am ready to go back to Norway though, although it will be even colder than here.

For my birthday my flat mates and Burbage block B took me out for a meal (with Solfrid and Louisa) which was lovely and I'm really grateful for you all making me feel so welcome and at home here in England. You have all become my extended family!

A few of us went out to the bar afterwards, and we had a great time!

I like to call this photo 'A very bad decision'

For the rest of the week, before and after my birthday I have spent most of my time working during the day, spending time at the Diamond with Solfrid. Who very kindly brought me pineapple slices (????????) in a tin today (I can't even say its a Norwegian thing... I dont know what she's thinking). Thank you anyways ;)
Last night we celebrated Halloween at Corp, and went to the 'Ghoul disco' as a take on the 'Skool disco'. I really enjoyed my night, and you can say we went all out for our costumes! (the contacts are horrible, even for me who wears them every day, it was like walking through fog all night!).
I am currently sat in my room, at midnight, sipping my tea, writing about the mental stages you go through during death whilst listening to some Pink Floyd (shoutout to dad, I miss you!).

I should finish up my work, and probably get some sleep.

A shoutout to Natalia who turns 20 tomorrow! Happy birthday gal, can't wait to celebrate with youuu!

Hanna x

Just a little throwback at the end to when I was a little over 6 months and rocking the pram...



This weekend I spent my time in Dronfield with my long-time best friend Louisa who I met home in Abu Dhabi about four years ago. We were meant to spend our time reading and catching up on uni work, but suddenly it was Sunday night and I had read about 2 pages out of 7 chapters. We arrived on Friday night with a suitcase each filled with laundry that desperately needed to be cleaned. We had domino's for dinner, and pretty much spent the whole weekend either in bed or on the sofa. It was very nice finally sleeping in a double bed again (where my feet don't hang off the end of the bed). Louisa's mum's house in Dronfield is the closest I get to home in a while, so it's always nice to visit.

It was 9 degrees, pouring with rain and I of course decided to go outside without a hood and my canvas converse shoes, because I'm still adjusting to the fact that water falls from the sky whenever it wants to, and the sun never really makes an appearance anymore.

I managed to hand in my assignment last Tuesday at 4am, so before the deadline. Pulling a couple of all-nighters and drinking a lot of caffeine made me exhausted, which made the stay at Louisa's even more worth it, because I managed to fully relax with a familiar face around.

Last weekend was a blur, filled with parties and wonderful people everywhere. I've attached some photos which describe the weekend with no words needed:

Also, I'd like to give a shoutout to Dan (the cleanest bloke in B1 at the moment!), for having the best costume/outfit out of all of us this week... with a little help from my socks ;))

Thank you all for a wonderful week, and for the memories made. More await!

Hanna x



Since last time I wrote, a lot has happened in my social and academic life here at Sheffield. I have now started to really orientate myself around the city campus and the city centre, feeling less lost and confused and more like this city is becoming my new home. I am starting to get used to waking up to this weather, climate and temperature (still wearing converse in the rain though!) however my body is still used to the heat of Abu Dhabi and the constant sunshine. I didn't think the weather would be something I would miss this much, but I'm already getting tired of wearing big jackets and scarves...and it's not even winter yet!.

Last weekend I met up with my best friend from BSAK who now goes to Hallam, Louisa, and celebrated her birthday. It was a great night out at 'Spoons' and we made a quick trip to Dronfield and stayed over night. Thank you so much for a loooovely time.

On Wednesday's we go to Corp, which is a nightclub in town, dressed up in school uniforms. It's a great night out for students with cheap drinks and everyone dressed in shirts and ties dancing to music with coloured drinks in their hands. We (my block friends and I) went both last week and this week, and it's now becoming a tradition.

Last weekend, I also went out to Poptarts with my Norwegian friend Solfrid here in Sheffield, for our Psychology social event. We had a great time, and may have spent a little too much money on drinks...can't really remember.

I am currently writing and reading for my first Psychology assessment which is due next Tuesday. It has mostly been very social here at university but now the workload is starting to increase rapidly, and we are all realising what we have signed up for. For my subject I have very little contact time during the week, with only five lectures. This means that I have a lot of independent study time which is time allocated to reading and research. There is quite a lot of reading for my different modules, so I'm very happy that I enjoy Psychology as a subject, although many do think I'll come out of this degree with the ability to 'read their minds'... I wish!

Tonight I have had a quiet night in, accompanied by my music, some tea and articles.

My first assignment is on navigation using geometric properties in the environment. A topic I haven't really encountered before which makes it more exciting, but difficult.

My weekend is packed with reading and work, except for tomorrow night when we are all going out to town in Sheffield.

I miss you all a lot, and love you more!

Hanna x



It can be challenging to move to a new country on your own, with little knowledge of what it will be like and knowing that your closest family is 5000 miles away. It is a daunting thought, knowing that every morning when you wake up, you are completely on your own. What you do that day depends entirely on you, and no one is there to do anything for you.

These are the thoughts I try to seer away from, and avoid entirely. If I was to think in this way all the time, I would be terrified. I would not have walked down to the bank this week and set up a bank account, I would not have sorted out my sim card, I would not have walked to my lectures and I would not have gotten out of bed. I would have stayed in my room, on my own, with minimal socialising and only my bed for comfort. When I moved to university, I had already decided that I will be the best version of myself, and not allowing myself to think of home or of the fact that I am entirely left to my own devices now. I have basically forced myself to be social, and it has really really really helped me a lot.

I have avoided the feeling of home sickness because I have no way to get home, I know that I have to stay here for the next 3 months, so there is no point longing for Abu Dhabi. It is strange however, hearing others speak of homesickness so often and talking about meeting their parents at the weekend. They have more access to home cooked meals and clean laundry, and a cuddle from their mums. But I am also very appreciative of the fact that I am far away from home, as I am becoming a more independent person, and I know that when I do go home for Christmas, I'll have the best time.

Therefore, I spent most of my time this week making my room feel like a home. I bought some small things to make my personality 'shine' through, and for this, art posters are essential!

I have also put up some photos of my family and friends. I have ordered more in the post, so these will hopefully arrive soon so I can see some familiar faces when I come home from lectures and the pouring rain.

Above are photos of my room and my desk. It looks minimal (to me) at the moment, but soon enough it will start to feel like home.

I am still not used to the rain here. I constantly find myself strapping on my black converse and trodding up the numerous hills here in Sheffield, only making it around the corner from my accommodation before my shoes and socks are soaking wet from the rain and the puddles (that I desperately try to avoid!). I need to start realising that this is not as dry as it is back home in Abu Dhabi, and that I MUST remember to bring my umbrella everywhere.

I'm now currently reading through that fat textbook on my desk, and I should have read about 60 pages by now, but I've only read 5.

A new update will be up soon,

Hanna x



One week ago today I moved into my halls of residence with seven other students. This last week we have been through freshers week which is a week designated to getting to know each other and to get to know the university/ area/ city and people. As a flat, we all get a long really well, and we have even made friends with those who live in the other apartments in our building. It's a great relief that we all get along really well and that we are all social and care about each other, after all we are going to live with each other for a whole year.

One very prominent feature of Sheffield is that it has an incredible amount of hills! I am struggling at the moment, climbing these hills early in the morning, but I know I will soon get used to it. Having lived in the UAE for ten years, the climate and temperatures here are affecting my body greatly as I am usually used to 35 degrees and above, and I now live with 16 degrees or less. I have a vast collection of woolly jumpers and thick jackets, so hopefully I'll survive, after all, I am half Norwegian!

For many of the evenings this past week we have been out checking the nightlife here in Sheffield, and my liver has somehow survived which is always a plus, although it has been unhappy for a lot of the time. It's not used to so much action in one go!

Today I met up with an old friend, Louisa, who goes to Sheffield Hallam university, and she showed me around the city centre for a while which was really nice. It's always good to see a familiar face, especially when my family is so far away.

Tomorrow I start my BSC Psychology course with a 2 hour lecture at 10 am. I am excited and I feel prepared but there is always a little nervous feeling when you're about to delve into new beginnings.

When we were half way through the week, and had been out at a nightclub in the evening I managed to lose my phone in the taxi, of course it had to happen. I had a mild panic attack as I am so far away from anyone at home, and not having your phone can be daunting and scary. However, I now have a phone, after a lot of stress and talking to many different people. It's one of those cliche things that you think will never happen to you, but there I was, at 3am with no phone and no way of getting it back, someone had to lose it, and it has to be me... However, I do now have a phone and all is well, I just hope nothing else that is similar will happen to me, I've had enough this week with wrong registrations and fee status forms. I am so ready to start lectures and to start studying again.

I've attached some photos of my week underneath, most are from after I lost my phone, but more will come when I've properly settled in.

Hanna x



It has now come to the last 7 days of my summer holiday before I make my official move to Sheffield. The last week I will be spending with my mum, enjoying what Norway, my home country, has to offer and preparing for university.

Last week, I got my hair cut and coloured, as I know I will not have much time at University to fix or trim it, which is why I went for a shorter haircut than I am used to. I usually get a haircut once a year, as my hair grows fast and I enjoy having my long and natural locks!

Norway is one of my home countries, as I am also from England. I have spent most of my summer in Norway this summer, adjusting to the nordic climate (and the rain!). I am not used to such cold temperatures and wet weather, so this has prepared me a little to my future life in Sheffield.

During my summer holiday this year, I have also practiced and undergone classes for my drivers licence, and tomorrow I have my drivers test. Norway is the strictest country in the world when it comes to taking a drivers licence, with a lot more theory, practice and rules that need to be known compared to other countries. It is therefore a lot more challenging to succeed, but I have practiced a lot and passed my theory, so I feel somewhat ready.

This leads me on to the day trip we went on a few days ago, where I drove to ´Verdens Ende`, translating to The Worlds End. Its name is very fitting as there are only rock faces that lead out to the wide and open ocean, and on the other side, far into the horizon, is Denmark.

The next coming days, I will be preparing myself for my travels and leaving Norway, and preparing for university life. Most of my preparation at the moment has to do with cooking and learning how to make different meals. This has and will really help me in the next coming years, as I feel more confident in knowing that I can actually make dinner for myself with only minor troubles!

I will post more soon, to tell about how my test goes and the final preparations!

Hanna :)



It´s now only 2 weeks till I am settled in my halls, and probably at this time I´m ready to go out, with a headache and a hangover just around the corner. I have been slowly preparing myself for the changes that will happen this autumn, with a change in setting, country, climate and life. I will be living alone, far away from my family and with full responsibility for myself and everything I own. I feel prepared, but the fact that I know I am moving far away makes me nervous.

I have also been learning the basics of cooking (so that I won't die during my time at uni), but I can truthfully say that I am not a very talented cook, but I´ll try my best this coming year. I have also changed my clothing, from summery tops and only one layer, to multiple layers and woolly socks and jackets. The climate will probably be one of my biggest challenges to face as I am used to warm temperatures, constant sun and humidity reaching above 60%. So wearing more than one layer takes a little time to get used to.

One of the biggest questions I currently have is how I´m going to fit all of my things in my tiny dorm, and what I actually need to bring. Knowing me, my room will be filled to the brim with things everywhere (but in a tidy way!). I am a very creative person, and I like to be surrounded by my belongings, making sure I feel at home. Because of my creativity, my room may look a little messy to others, but in reality, to me, it is a clean and tidy mess.

As I am moving from half the world away, there are quite a lot of things I need to bring and need to fit in my suitcase. Jumpers, several pairs of shoes, bags, different clothing for different weather, large jackets, electronics, photos and school supplies. However I bring a lot of experiences and expectations with me, and I am certain that Sheffield will fulfil them, and I an so excited to start the semester with freshers week.

As I wrote in my previous blog post, I visited Sheffield last summer, and I left there with a feeling of being welcomed and a sense of belonging. I cannot wait to see the university grounds again, and to explore the student city and accommodation.

Until next time,

Hanna :)