LSE is going to give you every chance and you are going to have to grab it
None of us could ever fathom that this pandemic could last so long but now that we are over a year into coronavirus, I can say that I am a part of one of the batches which started university in the middle of a pandemic. We went through the process of application, decision making, acceptance, preparation, and commencement, all when everything was uncertain. Although difficult, this journey has been an interesting one and something that will definitely go down in the books.
You know? I came to London for the first time when I was about 13 years old. As a teenager, I fell in love with the city and told everybody that I wanted to live here. But when I did move to this city, I experienced something completely new. Agreed, the circumstances I made the move under, were not usual. Living in London can feel beautiful and intimidating both at the same time. It can get overwhelming (more than sometimes!). If you are reading this as somebody who is about to make the big shift, I would say do not fear this feeling. In fact, embrace it and let it push you beyond your comfort zone.
After my 14 day quarantine ended, I travelled to London but felt completely alone in this big city. Of course, I did not have too many ‘great’ friends, just a few online acquaintances. Here’s a recap of a few things I learnt in my first few weeks:
1. Patience is the most important
What gave me peace was knowing that there were some of my course mates who were starting classes the same day as me and post registrations, we were going to meet up for coffee. It may seem normal to someone who started Uni in a pre-COVID world, but for us, we were all reaching campus at different times. Thankfully for me, a random “Hi, hope to see you in person soon” text to a person in my course helped me have some people to look forward to on Day 1 and meet some of my closest friends.
2. Always make an effort
Things are different in the beginning. I know that for me it was an emotional rollercoaster of leaving my home, moving to a foreign country, settling in, and starting my master’s all at the same time. Every time someone asks me how is Uni life treating you, I say the same thing quite often, even up until today, and will probably continue till the end of my one year long course – “It only gets better every week”. That is the truth. Every week is a new opportunity to do more, meet more people, explore more of London and to learn more.
At times, it does feel easier to lay in bed, trying to stay away from the bitter cold. Although not discouraged, but ask yourself ‘would you want to not do something even if you knew that you might not be living in London next year?’ If the answer is yes, then don’t do it. You then know that you will have many more chances to do it. If the answer is no, then that is all the push that you will need.
3. You will feel the complete support from LSE
Although it does feel that it is important to be on-campus and do the work, the journey of being a student at LSE and learning from few of the best academia could offer, while sitting among a group of brilliant students – either virtually or in-person – is an experience like no other. I do see the difference my ‘virtual’ weeks had from my on-campus weeks but one thing I do know that made the journey much easier was the support from the university. With constant emails, activities and updates, it did not feel as though I was not already a part of the institution while sitting miles away.
4. You are constantly learning at LSE
Learning at LSE is continuous and holistic. You can experience that no matter where you’re learning from. You learn more about the course, new skills, opportunities and activities to take part in, new people, of jobs to apply to and most importantly, about yourself. Be open and be prepared. LSE is going to give you every chance and you are going to have to grab it. I was ready to only learn academically and professionally, but I truly believe that I have definitely grown as a person in just these 4 months. I look forward to what is in store for me in the next few months.
“Here for the journey”