As I wrap up my semester in London, I have the same exact bittersweet feeling that I had at the beginning of the program. On one note, I feel that I have grown tremendously in terms of who I am and how I want to progress in my life moving forward. On another note, I will miss my friends here and the connections I’ve made.
I tell people on my program that I feel like I have been a “drifter” in terms of friends and friend groups even when I was in high school. I never really am a part of one group, I just take time wandering through each one and meeting new people along the way. This part of me has been intensified while I’ve been here—and I’m grateful for it.
I’ve gotten a lot of questions from potential study abroad students in my Instagram DM’s, wondering if it’s easy to make friends on the program or not. I had the same concern coming in!
I think one of the important things to remember, especially if you are studying abroad, is that it’s okay to ask for help and lean on other people. I’ve come to realize that London is a HUGE city, and I can’t imagine wandering through it all alone. Or even navigating the tube when I first got here. This was especially hard for me to realize at the beginning when I had the somewhat negative view of “my friends here will never be like my friends at home.” Sure, you’ve spent more time with your friends at home, but as I look back and think about how fast the time has gone, I wish I could spend just a little bit more time with the newer friends I have made here. Don’t be afraid to message someone and ask to go for coffee or lunch somewhere in the city. And yes! You will make friends in your classes. Depending on where you are living, you will have people in your apartment building that you will probably see all the time.
These last couple of days I’m determined to make the most of it before I go back home to my family. Spending as much time as I can with friends here (even during the craziness of finals week), exploring new restaurants, pubs, and coffee shops, and even the holiday markets. The time has gone by faster than anticipated, but I want to relish in the fleeting moments that I have left. I’m spending my 22nd birthday here, another bittersweet moment in time, but I’m happy to be “breaking the norm” in terms of who I’m celebrating it with.
My next article will be recommendations on some of the places I’m visiting this week in London—so stay tuned!
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<p>Hi! My name is Grayson Ruiz, I'm from Austin, Texas and I currently am a senior Communications and Theatre double major at Trinity University. I'm interested in all things theatre, film production/editing, television, art, and fashion. I love thrifting and exploring new coffee shops wherever I am. I also love shooting 35mm film photography. I'm so excited to explore my abroad journey with you and hope you love seeing and reading about what I have to share! Cheers! 🥂</p>