2012 was the year of change. From the very first seconds of the New Year, I could feel that it was going to be an earth-shattering, life-altering, never-the-same-again year for me. And I was right. On January 3, 2012 at 6:15PM, I jetted off from sleepy South Carolina to London, and life was never the same. I made the decision to go to London in November after a serious of unfortunate and very painful events made me a pretty miserable person. I needed a change of scenery, and studying abroad was the perfect way to do just that and get some college credit. So with the encouragement of my parents and other family members, I set my sights on London as my study abroad destination. By January 4, my home was SW3 6NA. I felt an immediate connection to my little postcode and neighborhood, and it felt just right.
I know that everyone says this and it’s pretty cliche, but my study abroad experience literally changed my whole life. It redefined my understanding of the world, its cultures, other people, and most importantly, myself. London taught me that I could anything, that my thoughts and feelings were valid, and that it was okay not to love life every second of every day. I figured out who I was, who I wanted to be, and even WHAT I wanted to be in the future. I can’t imagine having a better experience than I did. I studied with the best professors and tutors, who challenged me every day, whether I liked it or not. I visited thousand year old landmarks on a weekly basis. I also ate delicious food, shopped til I dropped, partied like it was my job, and filled my soul with beautiful music, art, and literature. My time in England passed in the blink of an eye and before I knew it I was back in seat 11F, flying home to America. When I got home, not much had changed, but everything had changed for me.
My post-London world is full of Hobnobs, British music and books, chicken tikka masala, and a cup of PG Tips every night before bed. I miss my little room in Chelsea every single day, but I know that even if I can’t be there, my life in America is all the better for the time I spent in England.