24 September 2010

What I learned in my second week...

Really, I learned much of the same. Except now I know that I am useless when I have a cold. Word of advice: try your best not to get sick when you move abroad. It makes you completely helpless and it took me 3 days to find cold medicine...and it's not helping in the least so far. However, they do sell codeine over the counter. That makes me very excited; too bad I didn't invest in that instead. I could use a little knock-out right now.

I think I've also gotten dumber since I left college. In the very least, I've forgotten how to do basic things. Like...note-taking. I SUCK at it right now. I hope I improve when real classes start in a week.

I'm nervous, but totally ready for this. Obviously the interviewers saw something in me at my interview that made them think I was ready for this...so I'm going to believe them.

19 September 2010

Shopping in London

My new friends and I decided to go to Primark (think Kohl's) in Oxford Circle this past weekend. It would have been helpful to remember that the Pope was in town, and the city was overrun with SO many people, both lovers and haters alike.

Needless to say, it was also packed with people simply because it was the weekend. It made me a bit claustrophobic, actually, and I've never really been all that claustrophobic. It was a weird feeling. But I managed, at Primark and the next day Ikea, to get 2 pillows, a duvet, a duvet cover set, a set of sheets, a laundry hamper, tea towels, and towels for the shower. All in all, I think I spent around £65 total. I love being frugal.

I also managed to snap a quick photo of the buildings around Piccadilly Circus (a hop, skip, and a 15 minute walk from Oxford Circle). It really is beautiful here! I can't wait to explore more...while I have the time.

18 September 2010

What I learned in my first week.

1. I've forgotten how to study. Or at least I've forgotten how to study well. We had the practice exam and it wasn't truly difficult, but I missed so much in studying and focused on the wrong thing.

2. I need to re-learn how to write an essay. I almost feel like writing my Repro. Phys. professor and see if he can check over my exam essays for soundness like he used to do. My practice exam essay was word vomit.

3. My time management skills are in need of improvement. I was such a bad student this week because I just had so much to do other than study (eat, try to open a bank account, figure out the tube system, find a good indian restaurant, etc etc).

4. Patience. I really need to try and be more patient with things. Everything runs so much slower over here. Example: It took almost 2 hours to eat at this curry place a bunch of us went to the other day. Why? Who the fuck knows. It was beyond obnoxious.

5. My money management skills need brushing up. Now, I've been really good in spending money this week. I had to buy some supplies, a hair dryer, and a hair straightener (and I bought the cheapest ones I could). But then, I went out two nights in a row (desperate for food other than Lee Abbey's).

6. I need my own kitchen. I cannot STAND the food here and I'm not the best cook in the world, but I can cook. And if I can teach myself how to cook like my mother (I mean, I've watched her cook for my entire life) ...well, I'll be set for life.

16 September 2010


It has been uncharacteristically sunny here in London for the past 2 days. I think nature is trying to slowly transition me to London's usual weather scheme. And it's a bit colder here than it is at home...at least colder than it was when I left. I haven't been checking up on the weather back in the States, mostly because I'm more worried about the tube service and whether I need my umbrella to get to the tube station.

Being at the college is amazing, although frustrating at times. I've had to jump through many hoops to get a bank account, and I still don't even have one. I have the thought of one: an appointment at Barclay's to set up my account. But my letter from college still isn't right, so I'll have to print out another by next Thursday. Also, my loan check is going to take until October 17th to be disbursed to me...so that'll be fun. At least I have an advance from RVC to cover me until then. If it doesn't last...well, I'll be SOL.

Other than the money issues, class has been interesting. We don't really have real classes, per se, but mock lectures to get us used to the structure and mock exams to get us in the mindset for how they test over here. 10% of our grades come from two exams after modules 1 and 2, and 90% come from the final year exam...which is cumulative.

I'm trying not to think about how 90% of my grade, and my future career as a veterinarian, rests upon my performance on one cumulative 3-part exam. Oy.

I think I'll just go back to thinking about the weather for a while.

12 September 2010

Walking 'Round London Town

I made it! I'm here. It's a little unreal at the moment. I know I'm here (I even saw Kensington Palace earlier), but it still feels surreal. I think it's partially because I had a severe lack of sleep yesterday because I couldn't get to sleep on the plane rides. I did get to see the sun rise over the Atlantic on the way into Keflavic Airport, though, which was a fantastic experience. Keflavic was a really interesting airport, too: it's almost literally on the sea coast, maybe a mile in from it. It was raining, but it was still beautiful.

Lee Abbey is really nice, too. The room is a bit small, but I haven't spent much time in here. The food is interesting, to say the least. I had a bean stew for dinner last night with boiled potatoes, a surprisingly delicious meal, but odd-looking nonetheless. And today there is a traditional Sunday lunch: roast. I guess I'll just have to start eating beef again...

10 September 2010

There's just a few more hours...

...that's all the time I've got.

100 points to whomever recognizes those lyrics.

I'm leaving soon for the airport. My parents and I are going out to dinner in Boston before I leave, and then they drop me off around 6pm. The nerves are gone, surprisingly. I guess that means I'm ready? Who knows.

I'm so excited I can hardly keep still. Next time I blog, I'll be on the other side of the Atlantic! Until then, my friends...

08 September 2010

And the jitters start.

I have this terrible habit when I get nervous: continually shaking or jittering my legs. I started doing this a few days ago and unfortunately I haven't stopped since.

I've pretty much packed completely at this point, but there are some clothes that just won't fit and therefore will have to get shipped to me. Boo. And now, it's just the last-minute tasks that need doing. I managed to forget all about luggage tags until the Icelandair website informed me that they require it and can refuse to check luggage without identification on the luggage. Well...thank god I checked. And my friend's mother N was lovely enough to give me a set of TSA-approved luggage locks so I can lock my luggage without TSA having to cut open my locks.

And of course, as I write this blog post, my Pandora radio station starts playing LDN by Lily Allen.

Is it Friday yet? :D

04 September 2010

So close!

Just got back from visiting family in NY and it was awesome. I really enjoyed seeing everyone. But...I really missed my dog. :/

Anyway, crunch time. Had a little bit of an unpleasant realization yesterday: my carry-on bag? My cool green one that I just bought a few months ago? Too big to be a carry-on by about 6 inches. Boo. Not thrilled. But the good news? My duffel bag, which my cat Cosmo managed to pee in somehow (it was upright and closed...?) now is free of cat pee smell thanks to my lovely parents. So I can use that as checked. Only problem now is debating whether it is worth it to pay the $125USD to bring my 25" roller as a checked bag. We'll see how much I can get into my duffel.

Now, to sit back, relax, and enjoy the hurricane-free weather. 6 days until my flight! Oy...