Since as long as I can remember, I have wanted to visit England. I love British culture and entertainment and I love the accents and the vernacular. I am a big fan of the Arctic Moneys, Kate Nash, and Jamie T. I’ve read every Harry Potter book multiple times. I’m a hug fan of Broadchurch, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Outnumbered, The Inbetweeners, and countless other BBC shows. I was enamored with a country I had never been to. Finally, I had the chance to see the place I have always dreamed of. However, there were three big things that stood in my way.
The first issue is money. Study abroad can be expensive, especially in a place like London, and I was worried that it would not be worth it or that I should use my time working and saving instead of spending. With help from friends and family, I realized this was an opportunity I could not miss. It is the best time in my life for an experience like this, and there will always be reasons or excuses to not do it.
The next issue was friends. Once I am comfortable, I am very loud and outgoing. However, I am a naturally shy person. I was very nervous for the trip because I did not want to have to make new friends; I have a very good setup back home with a close group of friends. I got over those thoughts quickly and decided to channel my more friendly and talkative sister, who can strike up a conversation with anyone. I have only been here five days and it was the best decision I could have made!
The last issue: packing. It was not really standing in the way of my going, but it was one of the most difficult journeys I have ever been through. I am here for six weeks and I like to dress in nice outfits. I also love to shop and I have lots of clothes. These things did not mix well with a 50 lb limit and the threat of having to carry my own bags around the city. Packing took me a three hour Dancing with the Stars episode, two episodes of Modern Family, and one episode of The Middle. It was a stressful and disturbing experience that I never want to relive again.
There are a few things, already, that I have noticed while being over here. Below is a short list of expectations vs realities I have noted:
|1. Small food portions||1. Quite large actually|
|2. No ice AND warm drinks||2. No ice, but drinks are generally cold|
|3. Everyone drinks tea all the time, very blatantly||3. I haven’t heard anyone really talk about or drink tea|
|4. Rapidly changing weather||4. Cold and rainy, so far all the time (though we’ve been told it should change soon)|
|5. Cute boys with accents that want to date me||5. Cute boys with accents|
I have many expectations for this trip, some achievable, others not so much. But I plan to make the best of my time here and eat as much fish and chips as I can possibly can consume before going back to America!