Warm Thoughts

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I've officially finished my first week at uni and I've been a resident of this amazing city for almost two weeks now and I feel like I've already learned and realized so much about myself. Some good traits, some bad but I'll embrace it all and learn to better myself in the process of this whole experience. Here are a few things I learned within my short time of being here:

1. Monday afternoon, while Jill and Jackie had class, I was left sitting alone in my kitchen flat eating whatever late breakfast I could throw together and that's when I realized "independence" and being "alone" are two things I thought I was an expert at. Turns out it's a lot more depressing than I could have ever imagined. I always dreamed of living alone and being completely comfortable with the idea especially since at home, I felt like I barely interacted with my family on a day-to-day basis and kind of despised the fact that there was never a moment I could be home alone. I realized just the simple comfort in having a familiar body within close proximity to you at all times is really all it takes to feel okay.

2. Which brings me to point number two - when I was home, I would say I was moderately close to my parents but not to the extent we are now. I try to FaceTime them every day and always tell them everything I did that day, what I've eaten, how I'm feeling, things I never really talked to them about. It's such a strange concept and totally cliche but distance really does make the heart grow fonder. I'm thankful that this experience has brought us closer.

3. I always knew but even after just two weeks on my own, I realized just how much of a superhuman my mom actually is. How does one gather the drive to wake up at the crack of dawn to cook a breakfast for seven humans, go to work, stop by some restaurant to pick up food on the way home, come home to cook a meal in addition to the take-out she had just bought, go out to buy more groceries, and then cook dinner by night? I can barely gather up the willpower to go grocery shopping and cook one meal for myself let alone a family. I always have and always will appreciate my mom for everything she does.

4. I was kind of hoping to go to a British uni that was ancient and had a Hogwarts look to it but the University of Westminster is extremely modernized - even more so than the university I come from. I mean, no complaints at all but I just wanted to feel like a wizard, damn it! Imagine my disappointment when I found that my first lecture was led by an American professor. All in all, school here is school… A copious amount of exchange students which I should have already foreseen seeing as I'm studying in such a metropolitan area.

5. The British Museum is my kind of wonderland. I laid eyes on real Egyptian and Greco-Roman artifacts. I saw the Rosetta Stone. Need I say more? My brains were ready to explode.

6. Jackie, Jill, and I have pretty much stuck together the whole time we've been here but our differing school schedules finally pried us apart. At one point today, I found myself walking through tube stations and parts of the city all on my own and realized… This suburban born-and-raised girl is capable of maneuvering around this crazy city all on her own. Not going to lie, I was feeling pretty invincible at that moment.

7. Homesickness was something I was anticipating but never to this intensity. Some days, five months feels too short and other days it feels like an eternity. I'm kind of scared that by the time I've completely gotten over my homesickness and feel truly comfortable in this city, it will be time for me to pack up and leave. Nonetheless, we're taking advantage of our time here and we're loving every minute that we're not in our depressing little jail cells we call home.

Photos by Jacqueline Do and me
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