I can't believe that it's almost been a year since I moved to London. I honestly can't believe that it's coming to an end. From my arrival in Lonfon to leaving abruptly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was so much that happened, both good and bad, that I never entirely shared. It was complicated to say the least, and naturally, I filtered everything through aesthetically pleasing glimpses into my everday life on Instagram. But thank God all good and bad things come to an end. Alas, here I write to you a closing to this life changing chapter of my life.

Most of you have been with me from the start of this crazy adventure, and it's weird to think that I'm asking you to say goodbye to something that you were only partially a part of. I never kept any of you properly updated, and truthfully, it was because navigating this whole relocation and "new life" was rather difficult. I apologize because a lot of you were genuinely invested and there for me, and I remained at arms length. I hope that this brings some sort of clarification to the many quick changes happening in my life right now.

Here are the answers to the questions you all asked me over the months:

Why did you move to London?

I moved to London back in September 2019 to study full-time as an Undergraduate at Ravensbourne University London. This wasn't a study abroad program. I went with full intentions of living there for the full three years and starting my adult life.

What did you study at Ravensbourne University London?

BA (Hons) Fashion Promotion. It's a pretty broad course that covers topics such as fashion marketing,  communications, branding, graphic design, styling, creative direction, editing, and social media.

How did you find your course + did you enjoy it?

At the start, I found it interesting, but it soon became too relaxed. It was definitely not as challenging as I had hoped it would be. I started the program with some previous education at LCF (London College of Fashion) and The New School: Parsons Online, as well as prior work experience, so maybe that's why, but it was really surface level as far as the teaching went. The environment and culture (in class/lectures as well as the university itself) was too laidback for my liking. Entering the UK higher education system with a US higher education mentaility made it rather difficult for me to adjust. Personally speaking, I needed an environment where I could push myself and be pushed back and Ravensbourne wasn't that environment for me.

As far as the coursework, I came out with a good amount of work to put into my portfolio including a professionally bounded full marketing report done in InDesign, a fashion film, and a digital fashion magazine.

From an International Student perspective, the amount of money spent to study at a university where you attend two full days of lectures that don't produce enough busy work made no sense. My parents spent tens of thousands of dollars for me to go there on top of living costs, and it academically wasn't worth it.

How was your overall experience living in London?

While I wish I could say that I loved every moment of it, I can't. However, I can't say that I hated every second of it. My move to London taught me so much about myself and other people. I learned so much in such a short period of time, and it forced me o grow up and grow up quickly. It's one thing to move out and live on your own, but to move to an entirely different country where you hardly know anyone, well, that's major.   In retrospect, I'm forever grateful for the kind faces who have become some of my closest friends and for the endless opportunities that have come my way because of my move.

What made you want to leave London?

Aside from my uni course, which was enough of a reason, culturally it wasn't for me and that's alright. Not every place will suit you and sometimes you don't know that until you experience it for yourself. Not everything is unavoidable so even if it doesn't work out after intensive research and planning, there are always important life lessons to be learned from it.

Do you miss living in London?

Yes and no. Yes, I miss my flat in North Greenwich and running errands in Canary Wharf and spending Sundays with my friends in Central London. No, I don't miss going to uni and dealing with the endless drama. London will always be like a second home to me, and I'll definitely be visiting during Fashion Week like I normally do, but it's just not the right time for me to live there (if ever again).

What's one lesson that you've learned?

Don't make decisions based on people. If you take the people out of the place, you should still be happy. It's important for me to stress this because even if you feel like you aren't doing something for or because of someone else, oftentimes you're doing it out of security or your own comfort zone. That's what I was subconsciously doing when deciding to move to London. Whether it's people, places, or jobs, we all have our own security nets that relax us at the idea of making big moves. Big moves aren't supposed to be easy or comfortable though. So if I could say one lesson that I've learned through it all is to stop making decisions based off of people or feelings because you'll never be happy.

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