June 7th, 2013- This is a picture of the housing we are staying in. I love it because it stands out against the older buildings in the Islington area and the windows are so colorful. I live on the 3rd floor in an area with 8 other girls. The Islington area is not so nice but it has become home.
Friday was our first full day in London. We woke up early to be shown around our “campus” which is in an amazing area called Marylebone High Street (picture above). We take the underground every day and it is our main mode of transportation. The tube is just as insane as the subway in NYC and it is very overwhelming the first few times. We use an Oyster card which is like a metro card to take the tube and the buses.
After orientation we had lunch in Paddington Park. There are parks everywhere in London,which is something I particularly love. After lunch we were free to explore and we went to this amazing department store called Selfridges. I had never heard of Selfridges before and fell in love the moment I stepped in. It is like Bloomingdales on crack. It is massive and filled with amazing designer clothes but they also have topshop and H&M. My first purchases were a red turban and a black pair of chunky heeled gladiator shoes from H&M, very reminiscent of an Isabel Marant pair.
The first day in London was overwhelming and surreal. The first few days were surreal for that matter. It took me awhile to actually realize I was in London because everyone stills speaks English and London seriously reminds me of a combination of New York City and San Francisco.
I took this picture a few days after being in London. It was scratched into a shitty bathroom in a little pub in west London. The reason this is the first picture I am putting up is because it says so much in such few words.
I landed in London June 6th 2013 in the morning around 11. I was immediately overwhelmed being at a large airport with heavy bags alone. I was suppose to be greeted by someone from AIU/Regents but I never ended up finding them. I rolled all my stuff through the airport and got a cab. The cabs here look like the image above so when I got in I felt like I was in a movie, it was very surreal. It took almost an hour and a half to get to the student housing in an area called Islington on Holloway road in east London. (Traffic in London is as horrible as New York City)
I was greeted by a staff member, quickly shown around, and left to be in my room alone. I started to feel a bubbling up of emotions but it subsided because they had planned a brief tour of the area and dinner at a pub for that night.
That night was when the bubbling of emotions reemerged. No one really tells you the negatives of going to a foreign country by yourself. I was overwhelmed by feelings of loneliness and sadness. I felt like I had made a wrong decision by coming to London by myself. I just wanted to be back home. I spent a few hours being extremely upset and really regretting going abroad. Eventually after talking to the most supportive people in my life, I realized it was completely normal to be absolutely terrified. I was in a new place by myself and on top of that I made a big decision to follow my dreams. It would have been odd if I didn’t feel these overwhelming feelings of loneliness and fear. That’s how following your dreams makes you feel.
I felt like it was very important to write about my first night in London as it was very eye opening for me. I realized making your dreams come true is truly terrifying but in the end the most gratifying thing you can do. A few days later I was in the bathroom of a random pub and I saw this quote written on the door. It was like the stars aligned and I smiled because I realized those feelings of fear, loneliness, and sadness were temporary, as all emotions are. I have not regretted one moment of being here since that night. This has been one of the best decisions of my life. So I’m following the advice of a old door in a London pub and I’m diving in! You should too!
Above are also pictures of my room, view from my window, and a picture from above London as we were landing!