Studying abroad…The scariest and the best decision of my life.
Moving to London was a big step. No. It was a huge step. And being an only child, I was always in the warm embrace of mum and dad and suddenly living alone. . .”Crap! What did I get myself into?” is what I initially thought. But now that I’m embarking on my second year of university, first year was. . . good, but with A LOT of lessons learnt.
Here’s go site 10 lessons I learnt during first year:
http://faithfamilyandtechnology.com/family/easy-meatball-subs/ Lesson 1: “Out With The Old and In With The New”
I learnt to truly enjoy something, I must STOP comparing it to what I had before. I’m pretty sure the people around me were sick and tired of hearing me say “That is not how they do it in Dubai”. Literally everything was compared to home. Every bad incident, every hard time, every problem…sadly, I remembered home and just how things were different at home! During first year I learnt, I must face London with all the challenges it brings me and I must stop comparing it to home.
buy Lyrica 150 mg Lesson 2: Why DOES Individualism Scare Me?
My first friend I ever made in university, served as a safety net for me even before she was a friend to me. It was only when I actually saw us bonding over the same things and laughing uncontrollably, that I knew she was actually a friend to me. That truly was low of me, using someone just for my needs. I hope I don’t make that same mistake in university this year.
Another thing I was scared to do alone was, traveling. But to be fair, the tube system in London is confusing and people move so fast! But I’ve realized that there are people around the stations to help you. I actually went to one of my friends and cried out “I’ll pay you, just teach me how to use the tube!”. She said no to my money but still taught me, thankfully. It’s really not that hard once you understand and travel frequently, which I still do not do so I might have to offer her money again. And remember, Uber is always something you can rely on if you ever get lost.
Lesson 3: Don’t Be Influenced
When people used to say “don’t be influenced by others”, I never understood it. Smoking was never something I wanted to do . . . but during freshers, when I heard all the people standing outside, talking and just having fun, I so desperately wanted to be one of them. I thought if I wasn’t making friends during freshers . . . my life was over. Dramatic but I did feel like such an outcast when everyone was outside my window and I was in bed listening to the laughter.
I wish I had known this before university because my really good friends now, were the friends I made in class. So do not feel pressured to make friends immediately and don’t do something (like smoking) just because you think it’ll get you friends. University is a place where you’re going to make tons of friends and you may even lose friends. Just remember to be open to all experiences and take them as learning opportunities.
Lesson 4: A Smile Goes A Long Way
Indeed, smiling does go a long way. Smiling does not only make you approachable but I think I’m more confident when I smile as I’m already doing more than I usually do. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I’m a very shy person who walks with her head down and her bitch face, on. So smile more and make yourself approachable!
Another way of forming a friendship is to ask someone out to a meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner or even dessert! One of my good friends, now, asked me to go for breakfast one day and our friendship has flourished ever since. Another one of my friends and I really enjoy pizza, so we would go and get some frozen pizza’s, throw them in the oven and share them over Modern Family, a show we watched all the time, together.
Lesson 5: Words To Live By: “Make Mistakes Everyday”
I have lost my stuff at least 5 times and once . . . it wash my money! I remembered being scared the first time I told my parents about it but to my surprise, they simply replied with “It’s first year, these things are bound to happen” and its true, you are going to make so many mistakes like: loosing stuff, using up your money way to fast, drinking too much, making the wrong friends, making the wrong decisions and even prioritizing the wrong stuff.
Do not be afraid to look stupid, accept your fault and learn from them! Make mistakes so you can learn more. This one time I left my wallet on the bus and I ran past 2 signals just to get it. Thank the Lord because the station I got off at was the last one so the bus didn’t move after it had dropped me off and I got my wallet from the driver’s hand. He saw the panic in my eyes, he didn’t even bother with any security questions. The bus driver was soon overwhelmed when I hugged him. This is one story I haven’t shared with the folks yet. I got my wallet back! It’s alright! Now I literally check all around me when I leave a place, just in case.
Lesson 6: Be Inquisitive . . . But In The Right Way
I don’t know about you, but when I was in school, I never asked questions about the cultural attributes my friends possessed. If they were Indian, they were Indian and if the were Arab, they were Arab. I supported their statement of where they were from, with the aid of stereotypes, but I never bothered to actually ask them about the cultures or traditions they acquired.
Being in university, I’ve realized, especially during freshers, tons of people will ask you about where you’ve come from and likewise, I did. I learnt way more about cultures and ethnicities in my first year than all the years I was in school. And it was so great to learn so much about people and where they came from!
However, asking for specific information can just be asking someone for too much and you can be invading someone’s privacy. So ask, but ask smart.
Lesson 7: Explore As Much As You Can!
There’s nothing better than going to a completely new place and exploring! However, it was scary. I know people who love to throw themselves into cities and explore the tiniest lane in that place. Me? I am not that kind of person. Sure, I wouldn’t mind exploring the tiniest lane but I want someone there with me.
Alone or by yourself, Explore! Go out! Create memories and Learn. These memories will last you a lifetime. Something my friend and I loved to do was visit the museums in London and it was great because they just so happened to be for free. Another friend and I loved to go and eat at different places, partly because we were too lazy to cook and we loved food and got hungry relatively quickly.
Lesson 8: Prioritize
As much as I did go out and have fun, I did prioritize. I found myself to be really productive and I would get these sudden burst of motivation in the nights so I took advantage of it. I am lucky to be living near my university so I would go to the library and stay there till about 3:00 AM. It was my little space and no one was there, I thoroughly enjoyed that. I would put on some great music and do work.
I also loved going to cafe’s to do work! Cute little coffee’s and croissants. YUM! Going to a cafe also means different atmospheres and I cannot keep being productive in one place. I just get easily bored. Just find a time, a place and a way of doing your thing that really suits you. I mean it’s all about being productive so just find out when and where you’re most productive.
Lesson 9: Self Develop – Learn As Much As You Can!
This lesson in particular, was very important. I cannot stress the importance of self-development. University is the time to have fun with friends and create memories and all, but more importantly, I think it is also the time for an individual to develop. Whether it is in regards to skills or just as a human being. For me, I really started thinking about my future, in terms of a job or just where I wanted to be geographically. I didn’t get any answers but the first step is to just start thinking about it!
My first step to self-development was to actually follow through with my blog and my Instagram page. Development can come in a big or in a small way, even if it’s just a 10 follower increase on Instagram. It is something.
Lesson 10: Snap, Snap and Snap!
University will just fly by so take tons of pictures and videos. Think about it, 10 years or even 5 years down the line, you may see the pictures and you’ll know the great memories you had formed. So snap away!