Living in London is a popular topic among students who have received an offer from one of its universities. This is mainly because life here differs from anywhere else in the world, let alone the country, and that moving here brings you into a global hub which doesn’t suit every student. If you’re not aware of the pros and cons, they are pretty straightforward:
- One of the greatest cities in the world
- Endless opportunities
- Forefront of style, innovation, technology, education
- Spending money money money every day
- Noisy and dangerous
- Stressful and tiring
I certainly spent a long time thinking about which university to choose, and now half-settled in the alien environment I still muse over my decision as if it were unconfirmed and distant from the present.
People I speak with on this topic either imbue or deflate confidence. One friend I met last week who studies at a leading UK university did the latter unknowingly.
“I wouldn’t want to live in London though! . . . It’s so expensive . . . My new room is SO nice, you’ve GOT to come up and visit me some time.”
By the end of the afternoon comments which appeared harmless grew into a poisonous ball of mud thrown to tease and ridicule me, and eventually the friend, whom I usually consider pleasant, sweet company became the one who depressed me for the rest of the day.
Often it’s difficult to imagine your new home without experiencing the commuting and chores and organising which become a permanent part of the day. After my first week, I do believe I made the right choice and feel I am very fortunate to be here. Reason why? Because every day I’ve seen and done something new and exciting, and that is what living a full life is about.
I’m going to share with you three things I saw or did for the first time ever.
- Boat party on the River Thames
Best thing about being in this city is having friends living in different boroughs and studying unique subjects. Last night an old trombonist buddy invited me to a Freshers Boat Party on the River Thames organised by his music college.
There was a live jazz band which meant I danced a lot, and the clear skies up on deck gave us the chance to cross under the Bridges and see the twinkly lights on both sides of the river. Light pollution has never looked so beautiful.
- Travelling on the Tube in prom dresses and black ties
There was the option of getting to Westminster Pier by taxi but everyone decided to hop on the tube instead. The girls hobbled along in ambitious and impractical shoes – I wore real ballet slippers until we reached the pier – along and up the stairs and platforms. Their dresses and red lipstick lit up the grimy brick walls of the London underground, mint greens, polka dots and champagne. Quite an enchanting image, especially when walking briskly; the breeze of public commute rippled their hair and long skirts.
I didn’t wear a dress because I stupidly left them all at home. The only thing I found which suited was my black jumpsuit, so I didn’t look as elegant as the ladies and ended up dressing like a man.
- People in onesies and men dressed as nuns in the underground lift.
The following day on my way back to the flat, I collided with a group of New Zealand students in the underground lift who were also returning from what appeared to be a ‘night out’. Half of them were in onesies of various farmyard animals; the other half were all guys were dressed in religious gowns. There were a few nuns and one pope, I think, who patted an elderly man’s balding head affectionately, and they began to pray in the lift.
“OH I am so looking forward to church tomorrow!”
They brightened my sleepy Sunday.
Now I must work because tomorrow is where everything really starts.