To say that this past 9 or 10 days has been a simple transition would be a gross understatement. I’m living in a new country. This obvious fact came as a bit of surprise to me at first. As I was preparing for this new chapter in my life, I kept telling myself, “It’s really not that different.” I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Londoners speak the same language as me, share many common customs, and generally think of things the same way as I do. While this is the case, there are so many differences here. Many of the bathroom faucets have one stream for cold and one for hot. The accent is so different that I can barely understand half of the locals, and I haven’t had a successful phone call with a Brit yet. Walking across the street is a chore in itself. The whole driving on the left side of the road thing doesn’t quite cultivate a culture of safety for the rest of the GLSers and me. Within 48 hours of landing on British soil, I was nearly been hit by a double-decker bus, two cabs, and a cyclist. It’s now no secret that I’ve moved to a completely different place. Taking the advice of the program director, it’s now up to me to embrace the differences.
When I describe my first bit of time here as incredible, I don’t mean it as I’m sure many of you will take it. Although I’ve already had experiences that I will remember forever and fun times that rival some of the most enjoyable things in my life, I am talking about an incredible that means larger than life and truly extraordinary. I am in the epicenter of culture. I walk to the grocery store and hear three languages. I take mid day walks to sights that people only dream about seeing. I’m within walking distance to some of the most respected theatres, art museums, and universities in the world. When I say incredible, I mean that this is something that I have never experienced before and probably never will again.
Over the course of the semester, while I look forward to growing in knowledge of statistics, management, and the real world of business, I hope to do much more than that. By learning a completely new culture, growing closer to my classmates, and calling a new place my home, I hope to foster a personal change that will stick with me for years to come.