What has changed since I moved abroad to pursue my further studies?
In this blog post, I do not wish to give you, the reader, a warning of what’s about to come. No, that’s not me. All I wish to do is reflect. As you all know, there are lot of things that change when the very nature of the environment around you transforms. However, I believe that the changes it imposes onto you completely depends on how much you allow it to change you. Hence, if there’s only one thing I wish for you to take away from this post, it would be that you are the variable factor that controls what happens to you. You have the power to allow the new environment to change you. You have the control degree and the direction it changes you in. It’s all you and the way you want to take it. So if you want to come prepared, don’t come prepared with an ideal personality profile that you want to fit in the end of three years. Instead, come with an open mind.
So, the question comes up every now and then, what has changed about me since I moved from India to the UK to study? Please do note that the following is simply an introspective reflection and not an observation made by others (each of whom will have a different view on this):
- The way I walk. Yes, it is true. Londoners have a brisk walk, and for you to survive, you too need to develop it. Well, it’s one of those things that comes up naturally. Walking here is a mode of transport, unlike how it is in India (or at least for me). Back at home, I only use to walk to the nearest auto, bus stop or metro station –nothing more. Here, I walk at least 8-10km every day.
- The way I talk. No, I do not have a fake Brit accent. What I do do differently is that I enunciate more. Why this and not a fake Brit accent? Simply because of the place I am at. LSE has such an international community that developing a Brit accent is simply not good enough to be understood well enough. A lot of my friends here are French and they have no idea what’s going on when I put on a Brit accent (which is ridiculous enough in itself).
- I have fewer friends. Keeping up with my social life here, in the city of London while studying at LSE is not as it was back at home. At home, I could easily maintain friendship and membership in multiple friend circles. Over here, you simply do not have the time. Welcome to the real world.
- The way I work and study. Here, you don’t have muma nagging you. Nor do you have teachers checking up on whether you do your homework and submissions. You either give it in, or you don’t. You lose if you don’t but it’s your responsibility. You need to grow up and learn to deal with your timetable and your work schedule. You need to learn to make decisions between choices that improve your work life (non-academic engagements), your study life and your social life, and trust me, this is not easy.
- The way and the things that you eat. This one is a hard one. You have a lot of variables here. Do I cook or am I too lazy? Do I eat something tasty or can I not afford it? Do I have the time to make breakfast shall I just wing it? Am I getting enough nutrition? What about the calories I’m taking in? And man, what about the number of meals I’m having? I’ve taken my stance on most of these questions. You’re gonna have to see what comes your way and then decide.
- Exercise, sports and societies. University, here (and perhaps everywhere else), is all about making trade-offs. Do I apply for committee position on the Economics Society or do I go for that Badminton trail? Can I not just join Rowing and go for the outings while missing all those gym sessions? I’ve learned how to be more disciplined with myself and how to say no. Trust me, this is not easy.
I hope this helps you all! Do write to me if you have any specific questions.
1st year Government and Economics