The three things I’ve learned (if I’ve only learned three things this whole time) for success in life are to always keep an open mind, clear eyes and an open heart. These three things have led me to fall in love with a new city, new people and an experience I never thought I’d be lucky enough to have.
London is a city full of history and sights to see. I could spend every free minute touring the city and still fall short of seeing everything. For weeks I worried about coming back to the States and reporting to people that I didn’t make it to the Tate Modern or I never got to take pictures with a guard at Buckingham Palace. I felt like I had to spend my last days in London rushing around to all the sights I hadn’t made it to yet, but I knew I’d be sacrificing enjoying my time at each and enjoying my last weeks in this beautiful city.
People always say that going abroad will change your life. You’ll grow as a person and learn so much about yourself, they say. Whatever that means, it was not the reason I wanted to go abroad. I was looking forward to getting away from my slow hometown summer life and having a great time in London. I’m a senior in college and felt pretty mature upon my arrival in London. But I have to admit that I’ve learned so much about myself, being part of a team and the beauty of taking the backseat during my time abroad, and for that I’m forever grateful.
I’ve officially made it halfway through my abroad experience! Looking back on my past month, I’ve done so much and experienced so many things that it’s hard to imagine there’s still so much to do. Welcome to London, I guess. I’m pretty sure you could live here for 5 years and still feel like you haven’t conquered the city yet.
I chose to come to London for a lot of reasons. The first reason being that I speak English really well, being American and everything. All the other reasons center on the fact that London didn’t seem that different from America. Everyone seemed to look pretty much the same, work the same jobs, eat the same food, and drink the same Starbucks. It seemed like the most comfortable I could be for my first big leap out of my comfort zone. So when I was preparing to come to London, I wasn’t nervous. And that was a mistake.
I didn’t want to go abroad. In fact, my mom and I used to get in fights about how she thought I was missing out on a huge life experience by not applying for a program my junior year second semester. I didn’t want to miss out on a minute of my four years at the greatest college in the world. But on a cold night in February, my mind abruptly changed while scrolling through a good friend’s abroad pictures.