7 Things I Learnt In My First 7 Days In London

So, I moved to the Big Smoke. That actually happened. So far it's been a whirlwind, a culture shock and a blast all rolled into one and I've only been here for a few weeks! During my first week I learnt a lot of lessons, some useful and some perhaps not so much. Today I thought I'd record 7 of them here - hopefully in a few years time I'll be able to look back and see how far I've come with fitting in down south! So here they are, the musings of a northerner stuck down south, week 1...

1) Don't go on Westminster bridge at the weekend - Ever. I learnt this one the hard way!

2) University in London is different to anywhere else in the UK - Just by being here a week I can tell that my experience of university is going to be somewhat different to some of my friends who are elsewhere in the UK. Being the capital, London is always going to attract a large amount of international students, so the people I will come into contact with will be far more diverse and my experience of student life far more varied. In my eyes this can only be a good thing!

3) Most meals only require a fork - I'm showing off my student status here, but really, why were knives invented? I've managed a full week without using one and must have saved myself at least 5 minutes washing up time.

4) The difference in weather to Manchester is actually significant - During my first week in London, there were a couple of days where it rained quite heavily. Nobody would blink in Manchester, but it was high on the small-talk list here in London! I even saw articles being posted on London based social media about the event, either news was slow that day or they're just not used to a good soaking down here!

5) Pre-drinks are a necessity - London is expensive. We all know. London is especially expensive for students. 7 days in and I'm already pre-drinking like a pro, it's really the only way forward in the capital. 

6) If in doubt, go southbound on the tube - I have to admit, I don't find the tube all that difficult in general. It's much easier to fathom than the Manchester tram despite being ten times the size and ten times as busy (didn't Harry Beck do a fabulous job with that tube map eh?). I'm still a beginner though, I live on the northern line which splits off in several directions just to throw you off. The lovely Natasha of Graphique Fantastique taught me an important lesson though - when it comes to where I live, I'll probably always be going southbound! As a side note to this lesson, the Citymapper app is the holy grail when it comes to navigating London. 

7) Saying "yes" is important - I get the feeling that London can be a really amazing place or a really lonely place, depending on what you make of it. It's so easy to just sit in, eating cereal and watching Great British Bake Off alone, but where does that leave you in the long term? I've learnt that you need to make your own experience great here, by saying YES. One more drink? Sure. Night out even though you're still hungover from 2 days ago? WHY NOT.

I have no doubt that there are many more lessons I'll be learning over the coming months and years here in London. Everything is still so new and for now I'm just trying to soak it all in and begin to get a sense of normality going again!

What lessons did you learn during your first weeks at university? Any tips from native Londoners to help me along the way? I'd love to know! 

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