Slowly settling in.

So since I’m prone to needed large motivation to blog, I’ve decided to apply to be an LSE blogger! I haven’t heard back yet, but I’ve decided to attach my application blog post since I wrote it and it is relevant and this is my blog.

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Moving, in any form, is an unnerving process. Whether it’s moving into a new flat, a new city, or – for like many at LSE – a new country, the whole process of packing up one’s life into a few suitcases can be rather daunting. Daunting though it may have seemed, I felt prepared to tackle all London had to offer.

Coming from Canada, I thought the process of settling in to living in London would be a breeze. I mean, we already have the Queen on our money, technically she’s still our head of state, and I grew up watching Coronation Street, I figured I already had British culture down. So how hard could it be, right?

I call this one – “Bone impressed by big monuments”

I had my warnings. “Oh it’ll be so dreary and rainy all the time,” they said. “London is so crowded and polluted,” they said. Though I have only been in the city for two weeks, I can safely say, these warnings are not holding much weight. Sure it rains, sure it’s cloudy, but there’s so much to do at any given moment that it’s easy to forget the drizzle. And yes, it’s crowded and extremely large, but I’ve come with friends who managed to quickly make London seem like home.

So if I was prepared for the culture[1] and if the weather hasn’t bothered me yet,[2] why have the past few weeks seemed so daunting, frustrating, and intimidating?

Although I can’t speak for all foreign students, it’s the little things that seem most unnerving. From the sheer frustration of never knowing which side of the street to walk on, to me profusely apologizing for any accidental brush or bump on the tube with no response or acknowledgment, to never quite getting right which coins to use when paying for a pint, they’ve all seemed to compound into big issues.

But then I remember, these are just the small things. Eventually they will work themselves out. I’m starting to remember to walk on the left in the Underground. I’m coming to understand that I don’t need to apologize for everything I do.[3] And I’m learning that the size of the coin does not equal its overall value.[4]

Reunions are a complete necessity. Especially when they involve free alcohol.

And truthfully, the things that really matter haven’t been so hard to adjust to. The advice I can give is don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ll adjust, and you’ll be better and slightly saner for it.

-N


[1] Yes, I re-watched both seasons of Downton Abbey before leaving Canada.

[2] Yes, I bought an umbrella and proper wellies.

[3] For those of you unfamiliar with Canadian culture, be aware that we’re notorious for saying ‘sorry’ for almost anything.

[4] Seriously though, why is the 2-pence coin so big? And why is the 1-pound coin so small?