Tomorrow I will haul my suitcase onto the tube towards Heathrow Airport and board a plane that will get me home after 10 very long hours. My first time living out of the United States for longer than 2 months, I’m curious to see what my emotions will be returning (although only for a short 2 weeks) and what exactly I will miss.
The slower pace of life will be a welcome change. I’ve never lived in a big city like London before, and let me tell you- I am exhausted! You are constantly moving, everyone around you is constantly moving, and even when you finally collapse into bed at the end of the day there is the sound of traffic on the street below. Will I think it to be too quiet in my Texas suburb? I suppose I will see. I certainly will miss the impressive public transportation, the street performers, and the sight of the Marble Arch on my way to university every morning.
I am hoping this 2 week break will give me a chance to re-energize and collect my thoughts. 10 weeks of term have already flown by! I need to sit down and process all the things that have happened over the past term, what I need to change, and how my expectations were or were not fulfilled. And then prepare to jump in refreshed for another 6 months!
My time so far at LSE has been full of adjustments. Things I didn’t expect were the massive learning curve I would face when coming here. It is an entirely different learning system than in the States. I am used to 3 lectures a week, professors utilizing one main textbook, and regular exams to make sure you were comprehending the material. Cue a reality check when I am handed an extremely long reading list, classes filled with incredibly intelligent second and third years who are specializing in these departments, and no one to hold your hand along the way and ask you how you’re doing. I’ve learned a lot along the way and come to realize the value of this method of learning. You have to stay on top of your work! This is the way the real world works – you have to be naturally inquisitive and disciplined to succeed. There are tons of resources and knowledge out in the world – you just have to open the articles that interest you and read! But the first step is sitting down at your computer, getting off of Facebook, and looking at some of those further readings.
For now, I am off to enjoy some family time and well deserved rest. I am excited for the New Year and a second term filled with adventures!