Its been five days since I touched down at Heathrow Airport in the UK and it has felt like weeks.  I’ve been through the whole cycle of emotions already.  Arriving at my Bankside residence hall room after an exhausting 6 hour flight, a 4 hour wait at the airport, an hour check-in process, and deprived of internet connection, phone, food, sleep, a shower towel, familiar faces, friends… I had an overwhelmingly feeling of loneliness and fear.  The fatigue and culture shock compounded into a feeling I had never felt before in my life.  So I resorted to possibly the best remedy for anything: a good nights sleep.

The shower that next morning (with the aid of tshirts as towels) was just the refreshment I needed.  I grabbed breakfast in the basement of Bankside, made my first friend (shout-out to Tricia!), and then took my first walk through London.  Let me start by saying that London is beautiful.  It’s winding paths, clash of contemporary and classical architecture, little pockets, alleyways, and niches make it unique, complex, and exciting.  Crossing the Thames River on the Waterloo Bridge for the first time, gazing down the embankment, and spotting the London Bridge/London Eye was amazing.  That first walk on my way to my LSE tour I quickly realized that in every nook and cranny of London there is something to discover and experience.

I’m not going to talk too much about the LSE campus because, well, there isn’t much to describe.  It’s small and smack dab in the heart of London.  It does have an awesome library I must say.

Orientation after my tour was my first look into the make-up of the students at LSE.  I wasn’t disappointed.  The diversity and cultural mix of LSE is one of the factors that played in my decision to study here.  After orientation I made my pleasant trip back to my room where I found my bed waiting for me.

FYI, I have a bar in my basement.  Yeah, awesome.  Had my first drink there (a Corona… I know, I’m so American).  I also partook, for the first and last time, in something called “speed-mating” at the bar.  Not the kind of mating you think.  As I was quickly reminded, mate = friend here in the UK.  Let me just say that it was an interesting experience.  I did one round of this and got what I think can be considered sexually harassed by a British chick.  I’ll spare the details.

Speeding up the pace here… I’ve met more people than I ever have… have already made some great friends… and am already sure that my year here in London is going to be an unforgettable experience.  Since so much has happened, here is a little recap of my favorites:

  • Had my first pint in a pub (Peroni beer is great)
  • Toured the London Bridge
  • Went on a boat party on the Thames
  • Had the best Fish n’ Chips
  • Sat on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Meandered through Borough Market
  • Visited Tate Modern Museum
  • Bought a shower towel
  • First alcoholic cider

I think I could go on and on but I’ll sum up my first 5 days by saying that I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to live in a city full of adventure, complexity, and charm and to have already met great people who are as excited as I am to travel Europe and live life in the driver seat (which is on the right side here haha).

That is it for my first post.  I promise my future ones will be much more concise and visual.  :]

Thanks for reading!

– J