"Don't agonize. Organize." - Florence Kennedy
I am currently waiting on my Entry Clearance from the British Consulate, but I did FINALLY get an email from them saying it was in processing. Keep your fingers crossed for me that there isn't anything wrong with it! I had sent it in at the beginning of September, and it got returned to me 3 weeks later with a note stating that my photograph was the wrong size. 35 dollars in overnight fees, with a new photo taken by my disgruntled dad, and we're back in business. I feel like once I get this, then it will all feel official. Like this is really happening, and after making this decision 2 years ago, I'm finally about to get my feet off the ground.
I'm ready. I have read everything I can lay my hands on about London, the culture, the city, the Tube system, apartments, cell phones, temp agencies, grocery stores...you'd think I was moving there or something ;-) Honestly, I'm not as scared as I though I would be, not about the move anyway. I feel as prepared as I can be. I'm not trying to be pretentious, but I'm not worried about getting a job. I'm qualified for so many things, I work hard, and I'm willing to do just about anything. I just need something that will give me enough money to survive and travel. I was scared about being lonely, especially since our last family talk had us come to the conclusion that I would definitely be on my own in London for Christmas. I was worried about making friends, or working somewhere like I am now--in a cube with people twice my age who I never really see and never really talk to. I do want to share this experience, as well as savor it for myself.
Here is why I'm not scared anymore: Facebook. In the past 2 months, the social website Facebook has put me at ease. For those who don't know, Facebook is a social networking website that was originally created by Harvard students as a way of communication for college students. A certain number of students from any college in the country had to apply before their school was added to the list, and they had access to friends at other colleges and anything else on Facebook. A year and a half ago, the site was opened up to High Schools. In the last nine months or so, it has been opened up to anyone and everyone. Now, you can still put limits on your profile so only certain people can see it, but the overwhelming amount of people of all ages who joined changed this from a small college student interaction site to one of the largest social networks in the world.
The reason this helps me out is due to the world wide access. Because of this, Bunac was able to create message boards for people in the program, allowing us to see who was going when we were, who had been there, and how to contact them. Because of this, I have met several people, including a real sweetheart named Nicole, who are going through the same things I am: paperwork, getting ready to leave, where to go, how to meet others. Nicole and I have been emailing for over a month, and now are seriously considering living together (depending on what jobs we get and where they are-it doesn't make sense if she gets a job in Shepard's Bush and I get a job in Leyman for us to live together-its just too spread out) But we are both joining temp agencies when we get there, and want the same experiences, so why not? There is another girl from Mass. who is coming in the day after I am, and is staying at the same hostel. We are planning on meeting for dinner and some sight seeing that weekend. So even though I did't know anyone going in, Facebook has let me meet people so I won't be alone.
The cherry on the cake of this whole Facebook thing came when I got a request to join a group called Phi Mus in London. For those of you who don't know, Phi Mu is the sorority I was a part of in college-changed my life, gave me some of my best friends, and gave me the confidence to even embark on this adventure. Apparently, there are about 16 Phi Mu Alumni living in London. They come from all over the US, and range in ages from early 20s to mid-30s. They get together a few times a month and go out to the pubs, singing Phi Mu songs to the locals who tend to keep their glasses full. Phi Mu is an incredible organization, and I am SO excited that I will be able to meet new sisters who were kind enough to search me out and bring me into their social circle. We've never met, but we're still sisters at heart.
Yea, that's corny. Get over yourselves. I have people!!