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Reflections From Moving To London

22:54Ciaran McCormick

It is incredible how quickly life can change. At the moment, I am probably experiencing the most turbulent few weeks ever. Sure, I moved away from home to university three years ago. That was a huge change, stripping me of my home and its comforts. However, that was still education and I was blessed with two good friends going there too that I could lean on for support. A few weeks ago, though, I moved to London to begin a new chapter of my life and start my first full time job.


 My mind right now is a weird mix of before and after shots. I feel like those weight loss models, photographed in two shots. One gloomy and fat and the other glossy and trim. Of course my life before wasn't bad, just very different. For 18 years I was brought up in a sleepy town in the coastal fringes of Essex. There was lots going on and I adore my hometown. But the slow pace of life and the lack of diversity can become stifling. So when I turned 18 I packed all my possessions into a handful of boxes and moved to university.

My three years at the University of Warwick were the best years. But we called the campus a Bubble and I lived there for two of those three days. It let me study Politics with all of the cushiness of student life. My routines were formed and organised fun and friends took up most of my time. Complacency set in and I never wanted to leave, except for the times when I wanted to escape. Finally, the months started to zip by. I began to wonder how I would deal with moving away from this paradise of friends, activities and eight hours of lectures and seminars a week.


Goodbye comfort zone. Those were the words I mouthed to myself as I stepped out of my door weighed down by suitcases. Whilst I had carted everything I owned many times in these cases, this time it was very different. I had unbelievably managed to blag myself a flash flat in London, sharing with unknown people in an unknown place. It was like stepping off the edge of my life into a suburban stretch of the capital city.

I have had to get used to entirely different surroundings, bristling with the everyday politics that I tend to notice. It has been mostly positive. My job in PR has exceeded even my high expectations and I have bonded with some of the friendliest people I have ever met. It is wonderful to be in such a vibrant and exciting city. So far I have been to Notting Hill Carnival, jogged around Alexandra Park and Palace at sunset, shown friends round Covent Garden and partied in Oxford Circus. Just a stone's throw away from office, I have had the privilege to visit Buckingham Palace, St James Park and Green Park in the time of just a brisk lunch break.


Some things have been a little more difficult to come to terms with. I feel like the transition from youth to adult life is one of the things that is ignored. The support is nonexistent and we are just thrust into the real world from the ease of school, college or university with little idea of what to really expect. It has been painful to be separated from my closest friends, boyfriend and family. Adult working hours are gruelling but it has been refreshing to reconnect with a structured routine, early morning starts and a 'seize the day' mindset. Even the little things are different. The public transport is amazingly fast and regular, which is a big change for anyone outside of the city. But Londoners are a depressed bunch on their commutes and it tends to rub off on you.


So when I look back on the last couple of weeks and marvel at how quickly the time has gone, it is clear how much has changed. I have loved my experience so far and am very excited for the new challenges ahead in my job. But I want to act on my impressions of the city so far. I want to embrace this change and let it affect me in positive ways rather than just let it wash over me. At the same time, I feel the need to stay true to who I am and connect with my roots and home. One example sticks out in my mind. A couple of days ago I was in a training session with my fellow young colleagues learning how to speak confidently for business. We were asked to go around and question our voices and the way we speak. I realised that I often changed my voice dramatically depending on who I was speaking to. From now on, I don't want to drown out my natural Essex accent in a posh version of London English. You can take the boy out of Essex but you can't take Essex out of the man.

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