I am finally here! London is the view outside my window and this country is free for me to finally explore and take advantage of. I’ve been here for almost 3 weeks now, but this city has not yet ceased to amaze me.
The journey here was probably the hardest thing for me to deal with when it came to finally embarking on this adventure. Saying goodbye to my family and getting on the plane was very emotional, but as my plane began to descend into London and I could see the city from above, I thought to myself: “Let’s do this. Let’s finally stop wondering about what it will be like, and finally experience it. I’m ready.”
Now, this is not to say that I was super confident and ready to take on the world when I landed at Heathrow airport, but I was feeling better than I thought I would. The first week was rough, but I think I’m finally starting to settle in.
My dorm room is now a safe haven for me, just as University College London’s campus is a bustling and exciting place to escape to not just for learning, but for being actively involved in a campus of over 30,500 students who are just like me. All of us are living and learning in one of the greatest cities in the world.
So far, I’ve found that I am one of many American students only here for a semester (or as they call it here, a “term”). Having learned this, I’ve also learned that we all are here to do as much exploring as we can while also balancing our school work. So far, it’s been a bit of a circus act, but it’s been good. I’ve found time to go to all the major sites London has to offer, and even traveled a bit outside the city to see some sites that were on my list.
Just this past weekend, a friend and I went to Wimbledon, the grounds of which one of the biggest grand slams in tennis take place at. It was so surreal, and as a tennis player for Arcadia, it was like coming home to a place where I wasn’t the only one that would get excited over simply seeing a stats board with all of the top players in the world on them.
I am so excited for more adventures like that one to come. This is only the beginning, and despite having quite a bit of schoolwork to do, I know I’ll make it work. After all, I’m studying what I love in a country that is free for me to explore. How much better can it get?