My name is Shina Patel and I am a sophomore English major and on Monday January 5th, two thousand and fifteen, I boarded a plane for London to spend four months in the city of my dreams. And in a few days I’ll already have been here for a whole month. Where does the time go…? When I first got here it still hadn’t really hit me that I was going to be living in the heart of London for four months. My third day here I saw the Tower Bridge and Big Ben and I got back to my flat (apartment, weird I know) and literally thought “Okay now what.” There is no amount of mental preparation that will ready oneself for a life changing experience like studying abroad. Although it may seem scary to take the plunge, I assure you it will be well worth it in the end. And don’t worry, CONJ and all its glory will be waiting for you as soon as you’re done.
These past three weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions ranging from a mixture of excitement and nervousness to homesickness to joy back to homesickness and now we are at a plateau of being utterly content with life. There is something so freeing about being here and knowing that at a drop of a hat I could go anywhere in the city I want (Thank god for my Oyster card and the Tube). I’ve spent the afternoon in Regent Park only to stumble upon the Sherlock Holmes museum by accident. I paid a visit to my neighbors Will and Kate at the Kensington Palace in Hyde Park. And when I say neighbors, I literally mean it. It was a six minute walk from my front door to their’s. I tasted the most amazing and flavorful paella from a street vendor at the Portobello Road market and had afternoon tea at the Victoria and Albert museum. As cliche as this is about to sound, I have to say it because it’s the truth – everyday here is an adventure and l plan on making the most of it.
Remember before when I said I was homesick? Well yeah that was absolutely horrible. But then I realized that I was wasting time laying in bed crying when I could be out exploring. Something inside of me just set into place and I realized I couldn’t be sulking the days alway. My friends and family weren’t going anywhere and they were going to expect stories when I got back so I had better start doing things worth telling.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be spending the semester in an absolutely amazing and thriving city! I can’t wait to see what new adventure tomorrow brings.