I’ve been loving life in the UK for the past few weeks! I’ve had the opportunity to do some really amazing things, but I’ve learned a great deal about London, my course topic and also about myself. If I could give one piece of advice to other students currently traveling or who will in the future it’s this: Learn to be comfortable doing things by yourself.
While you were planning you never really think about how far away your friends and family will actually be and all the new stuff you will have to do without their help. Maybe because if you really thought about it you wouldn’t go, but nevertheless you do and arrive, luggage-in-tow to a new flat in a building where you don’t know a soul. I know how daunting and lonely this might sound. That’s how I felt. But then the awe sets in because is amazing and you are swept away by the fact that you are in a foreign country. I loved the feeling of walking down the street and having the thought “This is England. . .I really did it. I’m really here”
After all the orientations and you get settled into life in your flat and your classes, people on your program will start doing stuff, going out sightseeing or getting something to eat. You may go with them, you might even plan the event, but at some point there will be something you want to do or somewhere you want to go that no one you are hanging out with really wants to. That’s when you have to decide it is more important to do what the group is doing or go do that thing you really want to do. . .by yourself.
Here is London I really wanted to see “Annie” in the West End because on of my favorite comedians, Miranda Hart is in it. It just opened, so tickets can be pricy, but if you get them the day of they are much more reasonable. None of my friends on the program, were interested in seeing the show or paying for a ticket, especially if it was hard to plan in advance. I still really wanted to see it and one day after class I checked the website and found the best deal on a ticket. It would be tight to make it from CAPA to the theatre. I made just before the show and had the most amazing time. It was so worth it. If I had let my lack of champions stop me from going I would have missed a great opportunity.
Always remember that studying aboard is a choice to challenge yourself academically, culturally and personally, so make the most of your time. Find what you want to do and find other people who share your interest. If you don’t that’s okay, do it anyway. You will be much happier with yourself if when you go home you can say you ticked off all the things on your list. When you do do something by yourself, there may not be anyone to share it with, but get the rewarding feeling of achieving what you wanted to do and facing a challenge.
Until next time,