I’m not sure what I was expecting from London before I came here. I had visited, sure, but it’s a completely different experience when you’re actually supposed to be living here. As someone used to the ‘big city’ experience, I was certain that would not faze me. Unfortunately, I wasn’t entirely correct.
You go into a large ocean of people, and while that may be something you are used to, it isn’t the ocean you know. It’s an entirely new one, away from everything you know and love, and it takes some getting used to.
I had had a while to build this future up in my head, waiting on a reply from the LSE after having sent in my applications. Many fingernails were chewed in the process. But the elation I felt when I finally received my offer letter in the post was indescribable, and it was at that moment that I knew all the plans I had made in my head would be replaced by entirely new ones that I didn’t know yet.
My first few weeks in London were spent setting up, getting used to things, settling in to my life here. I’m still doing two of those things.
London is beautiful, however, in that you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to see things. There are some absolutely beautiful parks all over the city.
Another wonderful thing about London is its many, many art galleries, filled with paintings and sculptures by every artist imaginable.
The LSE is also a wonderfully friendly, helpful place. There is someone to assist you no matter what the issue. Other students, staff, lecturers. Case in point – I lost three weeks’ worth of notes last week. Eventually resigning myself to the fact that I would never find them, I began making new notes. Not only did others on my course help me look, they sent me their own notes to help.
Two days after I lost my notes, a colleague on my course walked up to me and asked if I’d lost a notebook. My handwritten notes had miraculously found their way back to me.
If I had to pick, I would say that is my favourite thing about the LSE – the sense of community. It isn’t forced, or nudged, or anything, really. It is just present, like a warm, enveloping feeling. For all those feeling swamped with work, their personal lives, or just feeling alone, there is always somebody to help. All you have to do is ask.
Possibly the only thing nobody can help you with? The weather. In the words of my favourite musician, John Lennon, if the rain comes, just run and hide your head.
As a potential applicant, could you throw some light on the application process? Just a little overwhelmed.