Moving to a new city is a challenge within itself, but what’s even more difficult is forming new relationships and friendships. Like many students I know, I came to the LSE knowing nobody. Since I’m a postgraduate student and already had a network of friends from college and high school, it wasn’t a priority of mine to make any friends or connections at LSE. I thought to myself: I’m only here for a year, why would it be necessary to create a new network? What my autonomous self didn’t account for is the amazing staff and students, from around the world in fact, that I would have the sincere pleasure of meeting and accumulating profound and exciting experiences with.
With a diverse and international student population, LSE is the perfect place to meet people from different parts of the world. Especially in Social Policy, I have been able to exchange ideas with like-minded individuals on social justice issues that matter to us such as poverty and criminal justice and learn from my course mates how their respective countries tackle these issues. In one of my courses, we discussed how third sector services differ when it comes to migrant issues and how we can combat these challenges in our own countries. The relationships I have forged outside the classroom with individuals in my program and fellow students have also been instrumental to my learning experience at LSE.
In addition to the people in my courses, I have made friends at social events with other LSE students who have the same goal of creating a positive change in the world. Last term, I met two of my closest friends at LSE, Traci and Miela, at a friend’s party that I randomly attended. We bonded over a discussion about migrant rights’ and religion, and have continued to have similar engaging conversations. Not only were they friends that were fun to go to bars with, but they have opened my eyes to different aspects of social justice issues that I would not have been aware of if not through their eyes.
Hanging out with my friends Traci and Miela at London Sofar Sounds
Now that I have officially hit the halfway mark in my program, I have come to realize how grateful I am for the relationships I have made with the people in my program. The people in your program understand what you are going through and are supporting you along the way. These are the friends that know when you have to stay all night at the library or deserve a few pints at a pub. The stories we have shared, the journeys that brought us to LSE, and the reasons that drive us to pursue social policy have brought us closer together. I honestly don’t know what I would do without the people in my program. The solidarity from pursuing the same degree and passion to innovate the world of social policy has inspired me to continue nurturing and learning from these relationships.
Just thinking about the memories I have made with my friends brings me so much nostalgia from when it all began. One of the first people I met at LSE, James, who also attended LSE for his undergraduate degree in social policy and happens to be one of my best friends now, gave me the best piece of advice during the first week of classes. He told me that I will meet some of the most amazing people at LSE and I just have to embrace it and take it all in. I was skeptical about this and doubted his advice at first. After taking his advice to heart and being open to meeting new people and embracing new opportunities, LSE has been one of the best experiences and decisions of my life and I owe it to all the relationships I have made along the way. When it comes down to it, LSE offers a community like no other, compelling you to build and nurture those relationships outside of the classroom.