I dunno. My mind has sort of unconsciously made me hyperaware of when I might be experiencing anything like it, since I was lectured many times before I left about the cycle of culture shock and how to deal with it. Also, I don’t completely identify with the preliminary “euphoric” stage- indeed, mine was lovely, but I wasn’t naively in love with everything I saw. However, I suppose that I was educated on the matter for a reason. So there you have it- I’ve been
So I guess I’m in the anxiety phase. Without reading much about it, I can already attribute my current money worries to this stage. Although I don’t have to pay for all my food myself, it’s still jarring to be shelling out about 60 pounds per week for food I cook for myself. It’s also surprising to me because I love to cook, but living without the comfort of a meal plan that lets me prepare food only part of the time forces me to do a lot more work up front. As I like to say, my passion for cooking is enhanced when I am in a relaxed mood- rare when I’m working/studying all the time. So this makes cooking (and the creativity it requires) difficult, for now.
In addition, I understand that I’m paying for what will amount to discounts later on, but I feel like money is jumping out of my pockets when I buy a student rail card (26 pounds) and an ISIC card (~40 pounds incl. shipping and ID photo) and student oyster card (25 pounds not including fares) and textbooks (56 pounds) and a phone plan (38 pounds + monthly bill, but I’ll get reimbursed) in the same week. Whew! Keep in mind that, although the dollar is getting stronger, it takes about 1.52 dollars per pound (currently. Was 1.65 a month ago.)
I can only go onto the free and cheap and frugal London websites for so long until I burst. It’s hard for me to spend money as swiftly as I am currently. Hopefully I’ll get used to it by the time I’m taking worldwide tours and eating gold-covered truffles when I become a billionaire evolutionary biologist.
I know this will pass in time. But for now, I’ll let my pictorial pun do the work:
Update later that day: I know that this stress will pass! It’s unnerving to be spending a lot up front, but I know it will be worth it in not too long. Like any student studying abroad, there are the joys and challenges of adjusting to a new environment, and I knew I’d have some trouble (as everyone does) when I signed up for this.
Not all my posts will be wonderful and happy, as not all my experiences here will be. And that’s okay- good, even. It’s what life is all about: learning how to grow from tough circumstances. After all, one of my new mantras is “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” It’s how I’ll grow as a person, and that’s good news to me!