Adjusting to uni life can be hard. You have to make new friends, start a new course, and move your entire life to an unfamiliar place. Then when that new place is London? Now THAT can be hard to adjust to.
Don’t get me wrong, London is an amazing place full of wonderful people and rich opportunities (why else would I be here lol) but when you first move to this big new city it can feel scary and overwhelming and you may not know really know where to start. There are 8 million people and 606 square miles to get used to, however here are a few tips that will help you to adjust:
1. Start small. Treat London as lots of little towns (which is essentially what it is). Each borough has a central hub where things happen and people hang. By focusing on each little town bit-by-bit, it makes a Big City seem much smaller than it is, and a lot less uncontrollable.
2. Self-care. No, I do not just mean a face mask. Self-care is about doing things YOU enjoy doing, and that makes you feel good. For me, that is listening to my favourite music whilst organising my schedule for the next week. For others, it may be switching off their phone for an hour whilst they read a book or go on a walk. Whatever makes you feel joy, do it. Sometimes it can help to take a break from the city and remember why you’re here.
3. Get to know your local. How can you become comfortable with your surroundings, if you don’t know what's around you? Your own area is full of all the one-stop shops and cafes you need. Involving yourself in the community and talking to some locals will help you see who’s about and what's around. Once you know where you can get your essentials, you won’t have to tackle the busy city centre as often as you think.
4. London is what you make of it. Whether your schedule is jam-packed with events and exhibitions, or just what's on TV tonight - it doesn’t matter. Go at your own pace. Take advantage of what the city has to offer, but don’t make yourself feel bad for missing out. You’ll do what you want eventually, but only when you’re ready.
Yes, it can be hard, and that's okay. Hundreds of thousands of people move to London every year, who also have to adjust to their newfound lifestyle. So take a moment every now and then to remember that it’s a big step to move to a big city, so it’s completely normal for your mind to freak out a little bit. Cut yourself some slack! You’ll soon call this place home - it’ll just take some getting used to.