Friday, 8 June 2018

Two Years in London

Do you remember the snow in March? That was good.
They say time flies when you’re having fun - but it feels like the second year hasn’t even started yet. Due to a combination of lecturer strikes that consumed all of my uni contact hours in March, my measly three exams which we got two months off to revise for, some extremely poor lecturing, and a two day week in uni because of the way the timetable worked out, the amount of effort I’ve been required to put into my course has been minimal. That’s not to say I haven’t been busy though.

I moved back to London in early September, spent a wonderful two weeks in Stratford, moved to Bow in mid-September and began working non-stop until the middle of April. I’ve had a wonderful time this year jumping from meetings with university management, to talks from HuffPost editors; shooting and editing a news show over the course of a day, spending endless hours on the phone with Robyn, and enduring the necessary torture that is patronisingly dull child-safeguard training for a Scout group - and all that was just a random Tuesday last February. In 1986, a great man once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Looking like an ostentatious arsehole: presenting the
first episode of The Print's Mile End in a Minute
The Print
I can’t talk about my second year at uni without talking about the newspaper. Despite finding some moments extremely difficult, I loved every second of being editor. I loved the variety of writing I read, the stories I heard, and the people I met. I'm honestly going to miss editing and I just hope I did people proud.

I love London as much as I hate London
For every positive, there is a negative. London hosts a level of blatant rudeness you’d find nowhere else in the world. Were you in this queue? I don’t think so, matey. On the flip side, this does mean that random acts of kindness go a long way. It’s a city where too many people take themselves too seriously, however it is one of the best places to express your eccentricities. The air quality is noticeably awful in areas, however people all around London try to save the planet and conserve fossil fuels by not using their car indicators. I love those people. They’re the best.

The Flat
As with London, I’ve had a love hate relationship with my flat. It’s fantastic because it’s a 10 minute walk from Queen Mary, and a 2 minute walk from the Slammersmith and Pity (what us locals call it) and the Docklands Light Railway. However, the laminate floorboards in my bedroom have a carpet of hair that doesn’t belong to me; and despite cleaning the floor almost fortnightly, it’s not going away. Also, the hot and cold taps in the bathroom being the wrong way round to what they should be bugs the hell out of me, the ice cream van that plays the ‘Match of the Day' theme tune outside at 10 to 6 every day drives me up the wall, and the fact I only met my next door neighbours when I ran into them in the stairwell and they accused me of having friends round who nicked the front tyre of their bike doesn’t make for the warmest of neighbourhoods. Jokes on them, I never have friends round.

Profound Conclusion
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from this year, it's to be difficult (but for the right reasons, of course). I remember talking to a friend at the end of March about the feeling of being sick of arguing with people, but looking back, I’m pleased I picked the fights I did. Hopefully some of them have resulted in making some people’s bittersweet relationships with London a smidgen more sweet at times, whether they’re colleagues, students, or friends.