Old New Beginnings

By now I should be probably used to new beginnings in new environments with new people – after all, I’ve been in similar situation as an exchange student in Florida when I could barely speak English, or a year later at Open Gate when I was trying to absorb the unique atmosphere and local habits. Although I did not expect coming to London to be more difficult than any of that, London surprised me in all possible ways. London is a different world and keeps surprising me even after the three months of living here. The time flies incredibly fast – perhaps because of the hustle and bustle of a big city and a myriad of opportunities. Everyone’s in a hurry and it’s surprisingly easy to get lost in the anonymous mass of people, there are snippets of different languages in the air and every person has an interesting story of how they ended up in this metropolitan city.

As I mentioned, there are endless opportunities both in London and at UCL. I still can’t get used to having to decide whether I want to see a student play, lecture from a Google ex-CFO, or a jazz night in a student bar, all happening at the same time. I’ve been always attracted to adventure and new experiences and that’s probably how I ended up at an Enactus training weekend in the middle of nowhere (more specifically, a small town called Conisborough somewhere in the Midlands). And what else could a university student ask for after five weeks of hard work other than being able to spend the weekend with about 400 students from the whole of UK. Of course, besides many teambuilding activities, we learnt a lot about social enterprise and sustainable development and hope to apply the new knowledge to our own projects at UCL.

Many first-year university students are often worried about finding new friends. However, everyone is on the same boat, so people are sometimes even surprisingly nice and open in the first couple of weeks. I was probably lucky to find a group of amazing people on the first day of our lectures and despite our extremely diverse origins (or maybe because of them), we get along incredibly well. Our friendship is tightened by tens of hours spent in the library as well as afternoons on couches in an underground student bar enjoying a cup of coffee and a piece of cake – I’m glad I found out about the 3pm deal already in the first couple of weeks at UCL (every school café has a special offer after 3pm every day of a coffee and a cake for only 2 pounds – and one just can’t refuse such good deal in London!).

Despite all the ups and downs, I consider studying in central London to be a great decision and would recommend it to everyone. For now, I hope that I’ll have time to explore more parts of this diverse city in the upcoming months - so far I feel “at home“ in the area of about 800 metres around the university where I have everything I could possibly need.

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