I really wanted my first ever blog post to be super upbeat and full of excitement, but I’ve been blowing my nose approximately a million times and hour and have probably gotten less than a dozen hours of sleep since I left the states.
On Tuesday my friend, Lori, and I flew from KCI/MCI to Washington DC for an 18-hour layover, and flew from IAD to London’s Heathrow airport (where I had my first airport-security-pat-down; note to self: don’t wear your sparkly sweats on planes), arriving in the UK around 9:30pm Wednesday night. We finally made it to campus after attempting to maneuver our taxi driver towards a campus we’ve never seen or been to after half 10. This was way after the campus had finished the others international arrivals’ pizza party, but our room keys and any bundles purchased beforehand (ie. the kitchen & bedding pack I bought a month ago) were to be ready for us to pick up. They weren’t. Yes, that means we were locked out of our rooms. We each waited for security to escort us to our temporary new homes. But, once I was let in, I realized I had no sheets, pillows, or blankets. My first night back in London I slept wrapped in my coat and scarves, well attempted to anyway.
Orientation started mid-morning on Thursday. I met up with Lori and we dodged puddles and uneven cobble stone as we greeted other international students on the way to the building. We had a few lectures, about safety and student life on campus, etc, and begun our campus tour-in the rain. After a few stops at different cafes and buildings, the rain subsided, the sun peeked out from the clouds and we continued our making our way through Roehampton. We spent the rest of the day walking around campus, and off campus trying to begin familiarizing the routes to the nearest grocery store and fast food joint, even making a trip to ASDA (Walmart) to pick up some essentials (towels, some food, but most importantly, a really soft blanket)
Obviously, I know London is an incredibly dreary place, weather-wise. The sun starts setting at nearly 2pm, and is usually cloud-covered anyway. But my favorite thing is when the rain stops for a few minutes and I get to soak it up and take in all the incredible sights around me. Yes, the first couple days of my study abroad experience didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped, but I really do love being in London and I am really excited to see how much I’ll grow in these next few months.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my rants! I hope to have another one up during the week about my Scavenger Hunt experience, and will of course update you on how my first week in the UK uni system goes. Hopefully, by then my cold will have disappeared!