At the time of writing this, you are sitting on the grand sun-filled third floor of Central Library in Islington, which is much prettier than the public libraries back home. Just a reminder to enjoy this time even though it’s where you go to write the essays and blogs that you can’t bring yourself to do at the kitchen table. When you first got to London, you were weirdly worried about not being able to find anywhere to do work. But London has a million cafes, libraries, and other public spaces where you can sit with your laptop, the same as any other city.
I’ve really appreciated my experience thus far in London, and I do feel like I have grown because of my time spent abroad, as cliché as it may sound. I think I have become more comfortable with my independence and navigating new situations by myself. Further, I’d never travelled or flown anywhere by myself before this, and taking this step now has shown me that it’s nothing to overstress about. In turn, this has given me more confidence to do so in the future.
Something I wished I had known before the beginning of the program would be to not forget about my responsibilities at home. It’s hard to stay on top of things that need to get done back in the U.S., like applying to internships, finding a summer sublet, registering for classes, and even filing taxes, when my mind is so focused on my life in London. I wish I’d been a little more proactive and maintained a better balance between my responsibilities at home and life and schoolwork in London. Something else I wish I had been more recognizant of is that I’m living in London. Not taking a holiday here. The first couple weeks I took everything at a breakneck speed before realizing that I couldn’t spend the whole semester like that. It’s okay to take a day to yourself and not do anything or see something new. Everyone needs those days occasionally.
Something that surprised me a lot is how many Americans there are in London. Maybe we are just loud and stick out easily in public, but I feel like I always see Americans, even outside of central London. I didn’t think about this at all before I came here. Of course, London is still very British, but it is truly a very diverse international city. I’ve really enjoyed this aspect of London because I’ve never lived anywhere comparable. I’m looking forward to my last few weeks here, and I can’t believe the semester has gone by so fast!
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