It’s my sixth day on the job as the LSC’s new Programme Intern, and so far I’ve already walked into three doors. Three! And face first too, I might add. By the time this blog post has gone live, I’ll probably have walked into three more. I guess you could say I’ve come back to the UK with a ‘bang’? Head bang perhaps! My transition back into London life has had some minor bumps as I try to get back into the swing of things and remember all the little differences between life here and life in the US. Despite the bump on my forehead from forgetting that most exit doors in London don’t open unless you press a button first, I’d say it’s all coming back to me quite well.
See, this isn’t my first rodeo around good ol’ Londontown. A year and a half ago, I was studying abroad at King’s College from UC Berkeley and absolutely adoring every second of it. I had such a great experience in London that as soon as I got my diploma, I packed my bags and came right back to work here at the LSC. Of course, studying abroad in London with zero worries is completely different from starting your first full time job in one of the world’s biggest and busiest cities. Suddenly, you’ve gone from freshers pub crawls and university halls to moving into a random flat with total strangers, filling out scary paperwork all day, and frantically running to Primark when you realize you don’t have a single ‘business casual’ item of clothing in your suitcase. ‘Adulting’ is hard enough on its own, let alone trying to do so in a foreign country on the other side of the world, away from all your family, friends, and most importantly, your dogs.
But maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. Minus the blisters from walking everywhere and suffering through cramped, sweaty tube rides home during peak rush hour, it hasn’t been so bad. In fact, it’s been incredible. For one, I came during spring term the last time I was here, so I never got to experience a real London summer and boy, are they something. I mean, it’s finally warm enough to wear shorts people! Coming from Southern California, where we take the sunshine a bit for granted, it’s charming to see people swarm to parks and pubs anytime the sun is out and shining for more than five minutes. I’ve also forgotten so many funny little details about London – like how there’s five Prets within eyesight on any given block, or how for some amazingly strange reason, arugula is referred to as rocket here, and it’s such a wonderful feeling to rediscover all the things that made me fall in love with this city in the first place.
Getting reacquainted with London has been a ton of fun, which is why I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be working here at the LSC, and so excited for what the upcoming year holds for me. And why I’m even more excited for all of you new study abroad students to be starting your own UK adventures soon! Don’t worry, it’s okay to be nervous – I’m still a bit nervous myself, but there’s so much to do and see around these parts you’ll forget all about that. Soon you’ll be tromping around the city like a real Londoner. Just don’t go smacking your heads into any more doors! Leave that to me.