The Average Day in Glasgow
I know what you all want. You want to know what I’ve learned and how I feel now that I am so close to leaving Glasgow. I know you’re dying to find out what I’ve taken away from this experience. Did it meet my expectations? What are some of my best memories? Am I sad to leave?
And then of course there’s that vague, difficult-to-answer question that I’m dreading to hear from everyone I encounter back in Albany.
“How was Glasgow?”
That’s a hard one to tackle because it’s complicated; so many different factors go into that answer. That’s why I’m going to need time to think about it.
Sorry, you’ll just have to come back next week.
Instead I want to walk you through my typical day in Glasgow because I haven’t gone into detail about that.
If there is one thing I want everyone to know about me, it’s that I’m a morning person. Remember when you were a child the night before Christmas? Remember how you rushed to bed because you couldn’t wait for the next morning to see what Santa brought? That’s me every night. I prefer to go to bed early so I can wake up the next morning with a full day ahead of me. It’s a brand new day and anything is possible.
Back home, I’ll wake up anywhere in the 6:30-7:15 range to get started on my day. Since Glasgow has been a three and-a-half month vacation, I decided to sleep in a bit and wake up in the 7:00-7:30 window, which was still earlier than everyone else. After a shower, I plugged my headphones in and listen to the iHeartRadio app on my phone so I could listen to The Herd with Colin Cowherd, my favorite sports talk-radio show. While listening to that I prepared breakfast, my favorite meal of the day, without anyone distracting me. I ate three eggs every single day in Glasgow. Really, every single day. And I’m not tired of it at all. I usually accompanied those eggs with two servings of oatmeal, usually topped with some fruit, nuts, and peanut butter. After breakfast, I would pack a small lunch, wash the dishes, and clean the kitchen because my drunken flatmates usually destroyed it the night before. After all of that, I’d make the 25-minute trek to the University of Glasgow.
After a morning class or two, I usually walked to the gym to get a workout in for an hour or so. I did that for the majority of the semester up until my trip to Italy last week. Because I ate so unhealthily in Italy and I know it will continue with the holiday season and my birthday coming up, I’ve agreed to let my body take the L for the month of December and get started up again in January. That’s good logic, right?
After the workout, I’d eat my lunch—typically a PB + J on wholemeal (European equivalent of whole wheat) bread with a yogurt, apple, and a mozzarella stick. Throwback to the elementary school days. I tried to eat my lunch in a different spot every day. Sometimes I ate in Kelvingrove Park and watched the children and dogs run around. I also started my fair share of fights with some of the squirrels because I refused to share food. Oftentimes I went to the student union or the courtyard of the school’s main campus, which looks like that of Hogwarts. After lunch, I may have had another class depending on the day.
Then I would head off to the library to do a little homework. In my life as a history major, I can’t say I’ve ever had a nightly assignment. The only thing I ever do is read. I’m expected to read textbooks, primary and secondary documents, essays, journals—you name it, I’ve read it. So I would just go off to the fourth floor and take a seat in a comfortable armchair and read the documents on my laptop. Because the history of 14th century Scotland was so compelling I usually didn’t last long before needing a nap. Every day I cuddled up in this green armchair and took a 15-18 minute power nap to re-energize so I could finish my reading. After doing that I normally pulled out my phone to Snapchat my friends back home or read about my Dallas Cowboys on the Bleacher Report app. Then I’d leave and take the long way back to my flat just to sneak in some more exercise and breathe the fresh European air, even though it rained half of the time.
Then I would go to my room and do some more of the endless reading. I don’t know why I tried so hard because I could have done so much less and still passed. Oh well, there’s nothing wrong with a good work ethic. After that, I’d chat with my flatmates in the kitchen while I prepared my dinner, typically consisting of chicken, carbs in the form of brown rice or sweet potatoes, and an array of vegetables followed by a square of dark chocolate for dessert. I already know I’m boring so you don’t have to tell me now.
The kitchen is the only communal room in our flat, so that’s often where all the conversations happened. I’d participate in those after dinner or go back to my room for some more reading and writing or the occasional phone call to my family and friends. After all of that, I’d change clothes, brush and floss my teeth, put in my retainers and call it a night, usually somewhere between 11:00 and midnight.
I’m a creature of habit. I love a routine and I struggle when unexpected events alter my daily schedule. But there have been more days this semester than any other one where I’ve had to accept it and adjust. I learned it’s O.K. if things don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes you just need to be flexible, although I’d still prefer not to be. I love going to bed knowing exactly what I’m going to accomplish the next day. I think it’s the recipe for a structured and successful life.
So there you have it, a typical day in the life of Troy Farkas. Thrilling, wasn’t it? Come back in a few days for my final entry to the Albany Student Press and I promise I’ll give you my final reflections as I prepare to go back to the greatest country on Earth.