I have learned a lot about myself after spending about two months in London. Three of the biggest takeaways that I have from the first two months of my study abroad experience are: try new things, don’t be afraid to do things by yourself, and embrace the experience.
As cliché as it sounds, this trip has really opened my eyes and encouraged me to try new things. I have always been a person who favors consistency: I wear the same clothes, eat the same foods, and I’m more comfortable when I’m in a routine. I figured that since I already took the giant leap of spending a semester in another country, it made sense to try as many things as I possibly could while being here. A great example of this is food. One of my roommates wanted to take us all to an Indian restaurant for lunch. I have never tried Indian food before because I am not the biggest fan of spicy foods, and I have always associated all Indian foods as being ridiculously spicy. I agreed to join my roommates for lunch, and it turned into a great memory. I really enjoyed the food, and my roommates and I had bonded over our families and our personal stories. Stepping out of my comfort zone to try new things has really made a positive impact on my experience in London so far, teaching me to not be afraid of changes in my normal schedule.
The second thing that I have learned on this trip is to not be afraid to do things on my own. At Pitt, I usually will only go out to a building on campus to study if friends invite me to come. I also never liked going to the grocery store on my own and would prefer waiting until one of my roommates had to go as well. Having a free Tube pass has helped me change this mindset. Not only do I have to take the Tube alone to my internship, but I also find myself enjoying the time that I spend alone when traveling to meet up with friends. This has caused me to start venturing out on my own, allowing me to see more of London and step out of my comfort zone. I think that this improvement in my independence is crucial as I come closer to graduation: I need to learn to rely more on myself instead of waiting around for others in order to do the things I want to do.
As much as I hate fish, these fish and chips were really tasty!
The third takeaway from my trip to London has been to embrace the experience. To me, “embracing the experience” means going with the flow and not letting the negative things that will eventually happen get me down. I have always been a person that focuses mostly on the bad, but since I have finally achieved my wish of studying in London, I’m focusing more on the positives and making the best out of the bad situations.
*Written on February 20