I am now over half way through the program, and I cannot believe I have been living abroad for half a semester. London has been truly amazing to me and I cannot wait to see what the next few weeks will hold.
My experiences have most definitely not been what I first expected coming to London. I expected glamour, glitz, and endless fun. But London, like any other place, is just a city. You still have down time, you still move on with life, get bored (I NEVER thought I would get bored), get mad at homework, and the weather can get in your way. This is not a vacation. I am living here. I work, I go to school, and I hang out with friends. I came in expecting the all inclusive European tour, which is not what this is. Every student that studies abroad goes in thinking it will be a 3 month vacation. This is not to say I am disappointed. On the contrary. I am incredibly happy; but it feels more like home and more normal than I thought it would.
I feel like this experience is teaching me to grow up more than I expected. Not that I acted like a child before, but I most certainly am gaining experiences and learning things that are helping me adapt to being an adult. I’m finding out what is and what isn’t acceptable to share with coworkers. I am also learning how to be a better roommate. Rooming with people that you did not know is much different than rooming with friends. I’m more considerate of them and their space / our shared space. Also, navigating the city has helped me become more accustom to traveling around a city on my own. Overall, I am becoming more independent.
London, just as any new and exciting experience, is changing me in ways I never even imagined. London is a beautiful city to explore with so much history and culture. As I leave my little mark on London, London also leaves its mark on me. I’m getting to show people how Americans are not quite what they seem, while London is showing me how Europe is not quite what it seems. In the most global city in the world, it is hard to not be changed. My eyes are now open to all the diversity one area can have. Only 2 of my coworkers are British! the majority of my coworkers are from different countries working on visas.
I try and not have expectations when jumping into new things. I find it easier (and much more fun) to be in awe and wonder when first experiencing something. Naturally I had expectations when coming to London, but I can promise that London is far more amazing than anything I could have hoped for. I cannot wait to continue exploring and to continue my journey of discovering London and discovering myself.