The past five weeks of living in London have luckily kept me so busy and my mind so constantly occupied that I have had few fleeting moments to think of and miss home. The whirlwind of moving to a new foreign city, trying to settle in (countless trips to Tesco for detergent, bandaids, a return trip for the first aid cream you forgot the first time) keeps you running around at a pace that leaves you completely exhausted at the end of the day.
I’m finding this to be a positive as well as a negative. I’m constantly engaged with my surroundings and work, so I’m not able to dwell on the feelings of homesickness or those photos of friends back home that pop up on Facebook. I am so excited to be living in London and be at LSE that I’m fully aware this is an opportunity I may never get again. I truly have to live it to the fullest. But how do I even get enough time to process everything that I’m experiencing and loving?! It’s been hard to find moments of complete peace to stop and reflect on the amazing gift that my life is right now. It can be so easy to get into the routine of classes and the stress of work that I forget to stop, pause, and remind myself, “Wow. I’m living and studying in London. That is absolutely amazing.” I need to remember to take more of these precious moments.
The thoughts of home pop up daily. Whether it’s the photos of my dog in ridiculously adorable sleeping positions that my parents love to send me, the pumpkin patch outing that friends from my home university go on, or those messages that come from dear friends back home, simply saying, “I miss you.” Studying abroad is a very unique education experience. Even more so when you decide to go away for a full academic year. It’s choosing to leave your home college experience for a year to venture out in the world and go on a different adventure. Life goes on back home without you, and focusing on the sweet over the bitter allows you to take that leap of faith and launch into a year of discovery.