Courtney Manning is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Convergence Journalism major at the University of Missouri-Columbia, she is studying abroad in London this semester.
In this week's post, Courtney talks about studying abroad in London has changed her as a person in a positive way.
It’s hard to believe that I only have a week left of my program in London. I have dreamed about this trip since I was around five or six years old, and I’m honestly heartbroken about leaving. I’m blown away by how much I’ve changed during this trip- I knew I was going to change somewhat, but I never imagined it would be this drastic. I’m proud of my changes, though, because I feel that I am now truly a more cultured, tolerant and independent person than I was before.
For starters, London is an extremely diverse city. People of every single race, religion, orientation, etc. are living here. London is a giant, beautiful melting pot of very different people, and you have to learn to be tolerant if you’re going to live here. That’s one of my favorite things about London- everywhere you turn, you’ll find someone who is completely and utterly different from yourself. It can make for very interesting conversations. I love meeting new people here, because everyone has a unique story to tell.
I feel much more independent after living here for a few months, as well. I’m not afraid to do things alone- in fact, I’ve begun to really enjoy exploring the city on my own! I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with transportation here- it was quite hard to get it right away, but now I feel like I can figure out how to get anywhere, even if my phone is dead!
I’m also less afraid to graduate. I have had the absolute best times of my life at Mizzou, but living away from it for so long has showed me that there is way more out there in the world to look forward to. I really hope that I’ll be able to move back to London after graduation, and I’m going to do everything in my power to make that happen. I’ve realized that even on the weekend trips I’ve taken here, I’ve found myself missing London terribly. I know I’m going to miss it so much when I go back to the States, but I will definitely be back as soon as possible!
I feel like I’ve grown up a lot this semester, and I feel a lot more confident in my ability to live/travel alone, work a real job (even though I was just interning, obviously) and push myself to get the most out of my life by working hard every single day. Living in a different country is a life-changing experience like no other. London has changed me, hopefully for the better, and I am eternally grateful that I’ve been able to experience this fantastic semester abroad. I’m very excited to see where life takes me after I go back home, but I truly hope to one day be able to call London my home once again.
Courtney's journey continues every Wednesday so stay tuned.