UCL's main quad.

New Year, New Places

Instead of flying back to Toronto after the holidays, this year I flew all the way to the UK. I always knew I wanted to go abroad, at least for a semester. Now that I finally am abroad, I’ve had to face a couple of things that I wasn't expecting. First of all, culture shock. Then, walking around and seeing no familiar faces. I hadn’t realized how hard that would be. And lastly, feeling like a first year all over again, and getting lost an infinite number of times trying to find my way around. It was Sunday morning when I got off the plane. It was 9:20am, at least in London. However, my body wasn’t in this time zone yet. For me, it was 4:20am, five full hours earlier. Anyhow, I had to struggle through, and managed to collect my two over-sized bags and head out. As soon as I got in a cab, I was ready to doze off into a nap, but decided to stay awake and appreciate the ride. Having dreamt about London my whole life, I was fully aware that the driver’s seat is on the right side of the car, but I was in such a haze, that every single time I spotted a car, I could’ve sworn it was driving itself. It was, indeed, quite a trip. Culture shock truly hit me when I was least expecting it, and it continues to do so a couple of days later in a number of different ways.
Three suitcases piled on top of each other on an airport cart.
Found out traveling heavy is no fun...
I like to believe I slept the jet-lag away on that Sunday. I certainly took it easy and slept for most of the day, only waking up to answer texts and eat something. The jet-lag continues to catch up with me though, as my body still doesn’t know when to eat or when to sleep. But anyway, I woke up on Monday ready to get everything school-related settled. Spoiler alert: That was not the case. Sure, I did find my way to the Anthropology department, and I also managed to enroll at UCL, but I got lost at least 5 times on my way, and only today did I manage to enrol in all the modules I needed! I even missed my first UCL lecture because I didn’t have my schedule yet! Things happen, but you move on (and professors understand).
Entrance to Covent Garden in London.
Decided to go exploring after class, ended up in one of my favorite places!
Finally, it's like I’m experiencing first year all over again, but different. In my first year I was lucky enough to meet lots of people before school started, but now this process is much slower. I’ve attended a few events, and talked to a couple of people in class, but when I walk around, I still feel alone. Yes, I was terrified at first, but I'm starting to feel better about it. I had to sit down and take a few breaths, and embrace the awkwardness. Whatever London has in store for me, I’m sure it’ll be amazing, and I’m ready for it.
A chocolate fountain surrounded by fruits.
First week back means awkward first parties, but at least they had a chocolate fountain
A bit more exploring. I live super close to Regents Park!

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