What Studying in London Has Helped Me Learn About Myself

Dec 11, 2018 10:22:00 AM / by Maisie Haney

On the topic of personal change, realizations, and music, Maisie takes a moment to tell us what she has learned about herself over the course of her semester in London. 

There is no doubt in my mind that I will return home a changed person. This is what is called a "cliché", but it is also what is called the truth. In a mock interview for my internship class, I was asked if other people might notice these changes. I said I didn’t want to think about that.

the Floor of the Secret room in the George Tavern A secret room in The George Tavern.

I participated in another interview, although it was in the middle of my Post-War British Pop Culture class and conducted by the professor, Richard Maguire, our resident Blink 182 (one-eight-two) fan. He is one of two professors I know of at CAPA who is genuinely excited about what they are teaching and, boy, it shows!! He is one fist-pumping trance nut, and I love the class a lot. I asked Richard if he could ask me some questions about changes I’ve experienced, and about my perceptions of London at different points in my stay, but I admit we mostly talked about punk music.

On the way to the House of Horrors on 35 mm filmOn the way to the House of Horrors on 35mm film.

In a way, it was very fitting for the conversation to meander its way back to punk at every question he asked. I came to London because of my interest in punk, and my interest in DIY art styles that came out of the punk movement. This still remains true, but I am far more knowledgeable about the genre and have seen the venues so connected to the movement first-hand! I also have seen quite a few UK punk bands like High Vis and Efialtis, and it was cool to see how some bands seemed a bit more traditional in their punk-ness and perhaps very Riot Grrrl.

Beamish Museum in DurhamBeamish Museum in Durham.

Richard asked what places I would recommend that others visit in London. I liked this question because it was so easy to answer, and I think it was an interesting approach to see my own changes personally. When I said these answers aloud, it affirmed things about myself that I figured would have changed while being abroad, or just over time in general.

The Loom at the Ann Albers Exhibit, Tate ModernThe loom at the Ann Albers exhibit in Tate Modern.

For example, I eagerly recommended a vegan milkshake place. Wow, I care a lot about my tummy. I also recommended a visit to Rough Trade obviously, and babbled about the organization: “At my record store, we have very broad genre categories that divide the store, like ‘pop/rock’ is an entire section and it is not at all comprised of subgenres. I was pleased to see a really tiny shoegaze section with, like, only Yo La and Galaxie 500 records.” It was at this time that I realized I wanted my record store job back, one that I thought I had quit forever.

Sculpture in the Tate ModernThis is another part of the Tate Modern, a place I've gone to many times.

I also will never quit eating beans on toast. My mother is an English woman, and this is the only thing she’s known how to make for as long as I can remember. The foods were not at all shocking to me, and despite the lack of flavor that everyone surrounding me complains about, I will always love these foods. What I have missed while eating these foods is the periodic appearance of a server asking if what I am eating truly is delicious.

Latex Doorway - Art from Heidi BucherThis is the coolest thing in the world.
Heidi Bucher used latex to apply gauze to buildings and the architectural designs left an imprint!

I was telling Richard that at first, I thought that most strangers just seemed straight-up rude at first, as I am so accustomed to the over-politeness and hospitality of Florida. I have come to realize that this is their way of being polite; they don’t want to be overbearing.

Wow I love My MommyThe family. Wow, I love my mommy!

I’ve learned some things about England that overturned some stereotypes that I had in my brain to describe the country. I also learned some things about myself. I love to learn. ❤️

Suggested Tracks: Curated by Maisie


Thanks, Maisie!

Maisie Haney


Maisie Haney is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Art History major at Rollins College, she is studying abroad in London this semester.

Maisie's journey continues every Tuesday so stay tuned. 

Learn More about the CAPA London Program

Topics: London, England, Why Study Abroad