I’ve lived in London for two months now, something I know that such a small population of the world gets to do and yet so many wish they could, and I almost feel bad for speaking about it. It’s been a fantastic opportunity, and I’m dreading my Skype Thanksgiving this year because I have no idea how I’m going to articulate how thankful I am.
After the first few weeks, the euphoria of living in a new environment fades away and you can focus on really integrating yourself into the new culture. And despite the many similarities to the United States, London definitely has a different culture. Shallow relationships are avoided, making it a little difficult to make friends; same with small talk. (Secretly I’m rather pleased with the small talk rule seeing as I’m terrible with it.)
Drinking is universally seen as a good thing, and puritanical warnings of alcoholism are nowhere to be seen. There’s even a bar on campus! (I still can’t get over that!) The dorms throb with dance music nearly every night, and noise at unreasonable times is expected and tolerated. Unusually dyed hair and eccentric clothes are more common.
Everyone is sarcastic, and there’s just a little more humor here than back home. Things are taken a little less seriously, and people seem to take themselves a little less seriously. These are just a few of the nuances of British University culture I’ve picked up on in my time here, and like most things; there’s a lot of good, but also a little bad.
This experience has been about breaking out of my routine. It’s a nice routine (Seton Hill, friends, family, work, repeat) but a rut is a rut. Being adventurous, going places you wouldn’t normally go, doing things you wouldn’t normally do, spending money you should probably save, being uncomfortable with your surroundings, eating weird stuff, that’s what it’s all be about.
In fact, that’s what being young should be all about. I’ve come to realize that, as important as my future is, my present is what needs the most attention. That’s all for now, see you very soon, Seton Hill.