How to Learn to Live

Lauren Young London, England


March 4, 2015

With all the time I've spent in London, I've managed to learn a few important things about myself: 

First off, before moving here I was very ill equipped for rapid weather change. Old me would have just glanced out the window and saw a clear sky and trusted that mother nature might not call for rain. New me brings an umbrella, gloves, multiple layers and a flexible outlook to every occasion. One thing they sure aren't lying about in London is the rain. The sun could be shinning and the temperatures t-shirt worthy but give it about 30 minutes and a rash downpour is destined to occur. Because of this fact, I've learned to prepare for situations before stepping out into the unforgiving streets of London.

Secondly, money. When they warned about the extreme living expenses of this city I brushed it off with a well convinced, "I've always been good at saving my money!" Looking back now I wonder what I ever thought saving money really was. Learning to skimp on some of the finer luxuries in life, such as taking the tube instead of walking 45 minutes, I've managed to save £4 on a journey which is approximately enough to afford dinner if I'm lucky. Walking costs nothing people! Use your legs, they were given to you for a reason and that reason is saving money!

Finally, I've managed to become one with the hustle and bustle of city life. I no longer anxiously stand curbside looking in all directions for oncoming traffic. I no longer scoff at the tourists who wander aimlessly in the middle of the sidewalk (although I will scoff if they're standing on the wrong side of the escalators). I no longer stress about being 20 minutes early to class in order to find a seat or allot time for myself to get lost on the way there. I have learned to go with the flow and accept the punches life throws.

Living in a foreign countries offers many benefits and disadvantages. Although I don't have access to a Sonic slush I do live within walking distance of my now favorite Nandos. I've grown confident in my place within a city I once felt so lost within. If it wasn't for this opportunity, I wouldn't have found the strength in myself to step outside my comfort zone and stay there. I love this adventure and I'm sure anyone in my shoes would concur it is truly a life changing experience to live abroad.‚Äč



England Academic Year