Dear Pre-London Hannah,
I am writing this letter when just two weeks from this moment, my plane will be landing back in Newark. So, spoiler alert, I did actually make it this far. I know that coming abroad was the scariest decision you have ever had to make, and easily the biggest life decision, too. However, instead of just being so excited to come back to the comfort of Downingtown, I am overwhelmed by such a bittersweet feeling since I have to leave this new home forever.
I am sure you are shocked to hear that I actually am having a difficult time LEAVING London, but this experience here has helped me grow immensely, in ways I didn’t even know I could. I am proud to say that I have become far more independent, confident, adventurous, and far more capable of anything than I ever thought I could be.
I know you’re worried about making a ton of friends here in London, but living in such a big city so separate from a typical college life has taught me that in real life (away from the bubble of college), number of friends really doesn’t matter. It just is the quality of them that counts, and I can confidently say I am leaving here with wonderful friends that have made this experience so much better.
I know you’re worried about the dangers of living and commuting in such a big city as well (thanks Mom and Dad for the constant warnings), but you’ll find that you’ll learn the city in no time. You will learn when and where it is okay to explore alone and when it is not, and you’ll actually look forward to that time alone to explore. I always thought I was independent, but this trip has pushed me to become even more self-reliant and comfortable with being alone than I ever was before.
Overall, what I am most surprised to have discovered on this trip was that I was able to make London home. I feel a sense of home when the train arrives at the Aldgate East Station, when I hear talk of the East End or Brick Lane, and when I walk down Alie Street. I never thought that I could feel so comfortable and fond of a place so far from Pennsylvania.
So, Pre-London Hannah, fear not. You will be home before you know it, you will learn so much about who you are here, and you’ll be able to have the best bagels of your life. Warning though, there is no queso.