I have been in London for 24 hours. This is the city I will call home for the next year. If any of you have made a move like this before, you can understand how strange it is to fit your life into a couple suitcases, to leave all your friends and family, and the comfort of always having someone to talk to. If you haven’t, there is a chance you are like I was. I was so ready to take on this new chapter, so ready to leave the seemingly mundane life I had built for the last five years. I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t sad, I was ready. And I am, but I never could have imagined the rush of emotions that would consume me as I boarded the plane. Sitting there, unsuccessfully trying to keep the tears in, I was feeling silly and scolding myself for being sad when I’ve wanted to be in that exact spot for so long. It was a strange situation that I was not prepared for.
During the 12 hours of travel time I found it very difficult to focus on the positive and undoubtably incredible experience this time abroad will be. I was almost wishing to be back home, safe in my bed with Netflix. My one solace was knowing that I was at least going to see a familiar face when I landed. With the help of Olly, I lugged my life across London to my new flat. We ate some food, bought a few necessities, and ended up back at the flat in the early evening in full on jet lag sleepiness. Before long I was alone, longing for the comfort of my own bed.
I thought back to all my friends and family, how saying goodbye to them was hard, but not permanent. I thought back to Freshman year, when I knew only a small handful of people in the new bigger city. I survived then. I made new, amazing friends, and after a bit I didn’t feel alone in the slightest. This will be hard, and I will feel lonely at times, but just like Freshman year at the University I will come out better for it.
In the 24 hours I’ve been in this city I’ve experienced every emotion. Sadness and loneliness when I was alone in my new flat, fear when thinking about the amount of independence required to be successful, but the one I choose to cling to is excitement at this new journey. Sure, I spent my first night alone in a strange place doubled up in layers, using my winter coat as a blanket because I forgot to buy one earlier that day, and eating plane snacks because I don’t have food yet, but I survived. Here’s to the beginning.