The First Two Weeks in London

Kathryn Sherman is a student at Middle Tennessee State Unviersity and an ISA Featured Blogger. Kathryn is currently studying abroad with ISA in London, England.

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Oxford Circus – One of my favorite views in the world.

It’s a weird thing, to feel yourself blossoming. Blossoming isn’t really the right word, it’s much too frilly, although it does get the point across; it’s a weird thing to feel yourself expanding, filling out the hollow bits, growing into a mold that has been patiently waiting for you to settle into it. It’s weird but that’s how the last two weeks have felt, the last week especially. I think that’s part of the reason it has taken me so long to actually sit down and write this, because I knew that feeling would come and because I knew that it’s what this first post needs to be about- potential and the realization of it and all the wonderful things that are still to come.

London is where I go to be reminded of the incredible power of humanity. It’s been that way since I was fourteen and has only become more true in the six years since; maybe it’s the sheer numbers, but humanity seems so much more raw in London than it does anywhere else I’ve ever been, and to feel myself actually submerging into it is an incredible experience. And submerging is the perfect word in this case, because I have been swallowed by this city, by all the experiences and people and choices that are waiting, and that idea is so incredibly invigorating. And the thing is, it’s only been two weeks.

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View of tower bridge from the Thames.

My classes, are absolutely incredible. I’m enrolled in four modules, as the Brits call classes: Islam and Modernity in the Arab World, Professional Experience in a Business Context, International Security, and Theories of International Relations. All of them are so fascinating and on subjects that I am deeply interested in; it’s weird adjusting to the British school system but it’s good, too, to become more flexible and to have more responsibility when it comes to my schoolwork and actually getting out of bed and going to class.

A few really, REALLY cool things: I went to London Fashion Week. I wore fancy red lipstick and felt incredibly intimidated by all of the beautiful people walking around, but I touched a thousand-pound Versace ballgown, so it’s good. I started work, at the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, and fell in love, hard, in a way I absolutely did not expect. I love the work. I love my coworkers. It’s stressful, an extra fifteen-plus hours of work on top of my four modules but I’ve only been there for four days and it has already been so, so rewarding.

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The view across the Thames after seeing ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m on my own for the first time in my life. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m in a city that holds such deep meaning for me- maybe it’s the fact that the people I’ve met are hilarious, are kind, and feel like they’ve been there for a very long time. Maybe it’s the classes, or the work – or maybe it’s a mix of all of it. But I can actually feel myself growing into the person I’m meant to be, and the fact that it’s started happening after only two weeks is all kinds of promising. I can’t wait to see what the next ten will bring.

3 thoughts

  1. Hello Kathryn,
    You nailed it! I like the term blossoming because there is a point in the study abroad journey where you feel yourself start to unfold and become open and accepting of the new culture, language (if applicable), new college system and overall newness of the experience. It is the period when you feel at home in this new place and have found your niche in this new society. Best of luck with your time in London. Keep us posted!

  2. I love your writing & I’m having a similar experience to what you’re having but in Paris. By the way, how did you get into a fashion show? I assume you actually got an invite. I tried to sneak into the Valentino show during Paris fashion week to no avail :/.

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