I was greeted into London with the warm embrace of grey skies and a torrential downpour in September of 2016. I distinctly remember the biting wind chilling my fingertips, my socks dampening with the cold and my hastily drawn on eyeliner dripping down my cheeks as I exited Heathrow Airport. I was doubly irritated; not just because of the persistent runny nose that I would be afflicted with for the next few months following my misadventures in the rain but more so because I had wanted everything to be perfect. In my fervent preparations for university, I had forgotten to pack a London necessity: an umbrella.
Moving to a new country all by myself had aggravated the stickler in me. I wanted to have the foresight to anticipate any and all potential circumstances I could enter in my time at university. In hindsight, my umbrella indiscretion marked the beginning of a pattern I started to develop at university. One in which I allowed myself to be open to fortuitous happenings. Some of the happiest memories I have of moving to London were definitely not predetermined and you may encounter some of the same yourself:
Friendships: I had gone to university expecting to socialise with an insular group of people that shared the same life experiences and cultural values that I had. Instead I ended up living in a flat with a girl from Armenia, eating lunch with friends from Wales and Slovakia and going to class with friends from Singapore. Your best friends at university could be from a multitude of countries, providing you with a convenient excuse to travel perpetually!
Keep an open mind but also an open palate: Before coming to London, I was an extraordinarily picky eater. Nowadays, you will be hard-pressed to find me without an insatiable desire for hummus and a constant craving for halloumi cheese.
Changing career paths: As a newbie law student in 2016, I would hardly be able to fathom that three years on I would be embarking on a master’s degree in Politics and Communications at LSE. Do not be afraid to be definitive in embracing the aspects of your subjects that you are passionate about and charting your own unique pathway, even if it may seem confusing and unconventional to other people.
Lastly, always pack an umbrella: London weather does not joke around. Stay dry!