It's been... an okay week, he thinks. He is not even a little bit succeeding at being ruthless and caring for nothing but his own survival, but like, he knew he wasn't actually going to be able to do that, they all knew he wasn't actually going to be able to do that, Astor did that but it has been obvious since Leander was ten that he isn't Astor.
Lot was-- is, but Leander is getting increasingly comfortable with putting his family in past tense and doesn't really want to undo that-- not very big on advice for taking care of yourself; he's more of the school of thought that if you need to take care of yourself then you'll die before the issue comes up. This did not of course make Leander any less in need of taking care of himself, it just means that he's getting all of his advice on the subject from places that are really not very suited to his actual circumstances and in fact are almost entirely useless, which is to say Tumblr.
But, you know, he's trying. Every tool he has for this that seems at all workable is stories-- he's considering taking Marian up on her offer of specific works of fiction to try to get Lord of the Rings or, if he's very lucky, TMA transcripts-- and currently he's got the English Romantic poets, who have a lot to say about death but very little so far that's useful for when things aren't beautiful or triumphant or glorious they're just bad and you have to live with them anyway, and Modern English translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Morte D'Arthur, which might help more but he hasn't tackled them properly yet, he's been busy with all of his other homework. He's glad he's doing language classes and not even just because it helps with meeting people, his Latin is notably better than it was a week ago, but they're eating up a lot of time.
And... he's concretely, physically helping people. That's not the sort of thing you're supposed to take pride in here but he likes being able to do it, he thinks. In some ways he's doing better than he was outside. He has a group, sort of. Karen isn't the ally Lot would have picked for him but Leander actually likes her, which is not the emotion you're supposed to have about allies but see the above point about already knowing he isn't Astor; she's thoughtful and has her Pokemon team and she cares about stories in a way that he-- doesn't really have words for the way that he feels about, but he has feelings about it. Val is totally the kind of person Lot would have picked, modulo the not having had any idea what to expect thing; he's smart, and ruthless in the way that Leander is supposed to be but keeps failing at, and has a shielding affinity which is a very useful one in here, and Leander likes him too, likes the way he approaches problems.
It's not really enough to make up for how incredibly bad at being ruthless Leander is, but he's pleased with it nonetheless. He's pretty sure that Noelle and Engravaine did not put together a group, even a small and haphazard one based mainly on language instruction, on their first day. (Astor did; relatedly Astor is the only one of Leander's siblings who is currently alive. Leander is, in almost all respects, not Astor and never going to be Astor, but 'good at going out and talking to people' is a thing he can manage.) Group therapy in Julia's room was not very helpful on almost any metric but he did meet people? And maybe next week they'll be done with icebreakers and trying to convey the thing about stories that helped him and spectacularly failing, and he'll be able to talk about the thing he'd actually wanted to talk about.
He misses the people he had back home. Not his family-- he and Astor love each other but they were kind of incompatible in terms of liking, and his parents were, well, they were his parents-- but his friends, none of whom he'd known in person but you pretty much can't give a teenager internet access and also prevent them from knowing people that way. It's only been a week and he can guess how most of them are doing but-- if Roseheart or TamLin or squid or Luca got in a car crash tomorrow he wouldn't know about it, and conversely if he got eaten tomorrow they'd never find out, he'd just fail to come back from his multi-year internet hiatus like he'd warned everyone he might. And knowing that, statistically, they're probably okay, is different from being able to say hey mint, I read this and thought of you, or luca i'm proud of you for studying or curse are you SURE youre sleeping enough. It's not lonely, exactly, because he is meeting people here and he likes them an unwise amount, and it's not like there weren't enormous swathes of his life he couldn't talk about before, but he misses them nonetheless.
At some point, he thinks, he's really going to have to do something with his room besides having photos of his dead siblings, because as it is this is extremely depressing. This is not a thought that you have, if you're ruthless enough to survive the scholomance. But if you're ruthless enough to survive the Scholomance you don't wonder what Curse is drawing right now and whether TamLin got that job xe interviewed for, and if you're ruthless enough to survive the Scholomance you don't form a group with two mundane-raised kids on day one because they need language instruction and you're good enough at languages to give it to them, and if you're ruthless enough to survive the scholomance then you are, in a hundred different ways, not Leander.