DISCLAIMER: The past two days were rough. Not the people, not the place, just the days.
To say that these past few days have been a piece of cake would be a blatant lie. Honestly, I can only think of a few days that have been harder. I underestimated the changes I would go through and how I would feel after moving to a different country. It’s a lot harder than I ever imagined and it didn’t help that the past couple of days got off to a rocky start.
To begin with our (my best friend and I) flight wasn’t scheduled to land until 9:30pm, which means that we missed airport pickup and the welcome pizza party (that’s on us and we knew that from the start). That means that we had to get a taxi (as planned) and got off to a late start on meeting people. Our taxi driver also got a little lost so we didn’t get to the campus until about 10:30pm, which we also assumed. But, then our keys weren’t at the security gate like they were supposed to be so we had to wait outside until about 11:00pm. It wasn’t until after eleven that I got my key and into my room.
Luckily, my night did get better because of the security guys who introduced me to a handful of my flat mates. They were all super lovely and welcoming and without them I honestly would’ve had a much harder time settling in. It wasn’t until about 12:30am that I went to bed. Unfortunately our bedding and kitchen pack weren’t there like they were supposed to be and we couldn’t figure out the heater so we slept in a cold room for the second night in a row, bundled up in our winter coats. And, because of the time difference I didn’t fall asleep until around two in the morning and woke up at seven for orientation.
Orientation went better, but unfortunately my friend and I weren’t able to get breakfast/lunch until after half past noon (we hadn’t eaten since the previous day at 10:30 in the morning). So after twenty-six hours of not eating, you can imagine we were pretty exhausted and drained. However! Like most things in life, things turned around and got better. My best friend’s flat rep took us to Asda (the equivalent of Walmart, as it’s owned by Walmart) and we were able to shop and get some essentials for our dorm as well as food.
Unfortunately, another bump in the road came along and the pre-paid phone I purchased to stay in touch with my parents turns out to not be international (and I can’t return it). This means that it is extremely difficult to keep in contact with my parents. I have to rely on Facebook through the weak wifi connection. Tomorrow, after the photo-frenzy scavenger hunt, I plan to go to the IT tech and ask for one.
However, now that I’ve made these past two days seem terrible, now I get to brag about this lovely city I now live in! Number one: London is absolutely gorgeous. Through rain and shine this city is unbelievable. Today we registered for classes and then my best friend and I and a new friend we met today went and explored Central London. It felt so good to be back in the part of London I was familiar with, seeing as how I’ve been there twice before on previous trips.
The sun even came out for a little bit and that definitely cheered me up (I miss the sun so much!). I’ve been thinking about coming up with a sun dance to summon the sun and praise it for when it comes out, seeing as how it seems to be a rare occasion. Truthfully, I think I just needed to be around something familiar and being in Central London was what did it for me. It reminded me of all the good times I’d had there and the reasons I decided to come back and study abroad. It was exactly what I needed.
However, Central London isn’t the only perk of being here. The people are what make it great as well. Not too long ago my friend told me that people are what make a hard time better and she couldn’t have been more right! This leads me to the second reason why London is great. Everyone here is absolutely lovely! I haven’t met a single person who hasn’t been welcoming or helpful. I’m so thankful for all the people I’ve encountered, because they’ve made this transition so much easier.
Although I’ve only been here for two days I’ve already found two great reasons to stay, the city and its beauty as well as the great people. I know things have been rough, but I’m doing my best to keep a positive attitude on it, because I know things will get better and I can’t wait to share them all with you. But, until then I’ll talk to you later.