In less than three weeks I will be heading off to London. It will be a time of learning, both in terms of my academic program and in living in another country. During this time I will have a lot of freedom, to visit countries in Europe I have dreamt of seeing for years or attending a match of my favorite soccer team, Chelsea FC, who play in London. This is a season in my life of freedom and opportunity, to a level I am simply not used to.

I am someone who typically likes to follow the normal path laid out before them. You go to school from kindergarten and eventually you receive a high school diploma. Afterwards, college was always taught as a necessity to get a good job and to be able to provide for yourself. Now this is where the plot turns in my life from the norms to slightly different. This makes me nervous as I am stepping out on a path, doing graduate school in another country, which I have no friends to text “hey, how are you feeling about moving into your new country” or “did you understand this part of the visa application, I’m not quite sure about it”. Having no friends with these shared experiences makes things rough.

On the other hand, it is a time of opportunities with the chances to explore new cities and countries around me and to meet fellow international students who are trying to figure out London. These new places and new friends are the aspects of my move I am looking forward to most. I have done reading from my future professors and enjoyed their insights, but how often does one have the freedom to choose between the brilliant city of London or a quick jaunt to Rome any given weekend? This view might be idyllic, so I will be sure to keep you up-to-date either way.

Times are changing, a boy who has spent all but one year of his life in a town of 80,000 is now going to be a 22 year old in the metropolis of London’s millions of residents. I told a friend last night that in some ways I am jealous of people my age who have found a job and are plugging away there. Yet over time I am realizing the vast prospects of leaving what I am familiar with for something new. Time will tell and pictures will show just what it was like. See you soon, London.

Your friend,

James

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