There are moments when I feel like I’ve been living in London my whole life, keeping the right of an escalator, never making eye contact, drinking A LOT of coffee…all the things southerners seem to do. Then there are other times when I feel like a completely different species; for instance when I raaaaarely (hmm) forget to top up my oyster card and doom myself into a blind state of exasperated panic when that little red X appears, knowing there are hundreds of people behind me, judging my every movement before I have to turn in utter shame and wade through all the ‘you are an *expletive*’ glares…Not that that ever happens, of course.
Being a first year student, I am still free of the copious, intimidating bills, so dealing with my expense is still nowhere NEAR as much as draining as it would be for ‘proper adults’ paying for literally everything out of their pockets. However, I do think I am coping okay with the expense!
So, maybe to put into better words…Being a student in London is only as expensive as you make it, I think. Everything really is so much more expensive in central London because you are paying for your location more than anything. Regardless, there are so many ways to help yourself out and still be able to enjoy the luxuries of London. My budget is my law; which allows me to still go and see a musical every week if I want, as long as I am strict with everything else. Some of my new found knacks include :
- COOK FOR YOURSELF – Ready meals/take aways add up super fast and making something as easy and as cheap as tuna pasta bake (thank you mum) in bulk will easily last you 3/4 days.
- FREEZE EVERYTHING – unless it says not to… but literally everything, I lost too many loaves of bread before it occurred to me.
- NUS AND UNI DAYS – Almost everywhere has student discount! Use it! For the amount of shops you need to do within the year, that £1.36 will add up I promise.
- REDUCED SECTIONS – Do I even need to say more. Apart from go to the cake/bakery shop in Morrisons after 6:30pm.
I have also found that the tube is the greatest yet most disgusting place on this earth. Although, not as scary as I dreaded! I had nightmares leading up to the move, about sitting and crying next to a busker, not having a clue where I was…Until I realised there are signs and arrows literally everywhere. After your third meltdown it becomes a lot easier. Other than investing in a pair of good trainers and walking, it’s the most practical way to get around because, as London is notorious for, cars and traffic are just not worth it and the tube goes everywhere imaginable. I was also thrilled to find I could attach my railcard, making it ludicrously cheap. (£1.85 from South Ealing to Camden Town!!!!!)
The thing I love most about London is 1000000% the opportunity to watch live theatre ALL THE TIME. I would like to thank PROMPT tickets, Todays tix and it’s lottery’s and all of my course mates who gamble for the last minute tickets. I’ve been able to see so many things already like Kinky Boots, Murder Ballad and In the Heights, all being less that half the price of normal tickets! And completely off topic but I also got to go to a show at London Fashion week!! Opportunities literally throw themselves at you here.
I won’t dwell on this, however committing to a long distance relationship is also something I’m dealing with and I have to admit, at times it can be the saddest thing in the world where all you want is a hug and a brew made by them…However, I really believe that as long as you are both on the same page, make time to talk and know that this is only temporary, it is absolutely possible and so worth it. Never let it get to the point where there are no trips to look forward to, it may just be me but I would go insane…
‘See it as an inconvenience, not an issue’
As much as I miss having him there practially every day, I could not be happier. *Guiltlessly said with a smush face knowing that I get to see Noah in a week!!!*
Finally, I promise this is the last thing I’ll ramble about, I’m almost done! The variations of wonderful people you get to meet at university, let alone just in London is one of the best things that will ever happen to you. 4/7 of my flatmates here at LCM are international (2 from Italy, 1 from Russia & 1 from Norway) and they are such lovely people, it’s remarkable to learn about their lifestyles, pick up parts of their languages and help them as much as I can with ours. Alessia is also helping me plan an interrail around Italy this year; which I know is going to save my life in more ways than one.
So I think what I’m trying to say is…I really blummin’ love London and uni life. Don’t be scared to move away, don’t be scared to move into a city, don’t be scared that you won’t make friends.
To all the adventures yet to come,