My CAS still hasn’t been issued, so I’m unable to deliver a post giving a play-by-play of the visa application process, or any other useful tips/insight about getting ready to make the move from the US to England. I don’t even feel allowed to be excited about the move yet because so much still hangs in the balance. This post is my remedy.
Here are 6 things about my imminent move that I’m really looking forward to:
1) Getting through border control.
Perhaps it’s because I still don’t have even the means to apply for my visa (PLEASEISSUEMYCASNOOOOOWWWW), but I’m a little anxious about having everything I need in proper order and on time. I hate the stress of hang-ups, especially those that are completely out of my control. I am living for the moment after landing when the Border Force officer looks down at the visa sticker on my passport and my offer letter, nods, and waves me through. I may just be so elated that I slap down some cardboard and start popping, locking, and breaking (to the utter horror of anyone within view).
2) Sleeping FOREVER and waking up in Surrey.
I know from previous experience that after all the initial hello’s and nice-to-meet-you’s, I’ll probably be exhausted upon arriving in my room. Too exhausted to do ANYTHING but fall into bed and not wake up until the next day. And when I do, I’m sure I’ll have that brief moment of forgetting — I’ll think I’m still in North Carolina, barely existing. Then an electric surge will prickle my spine and I’ll open my eyes as wide as they can go. I’ll think, “No, I’m here. I’m in England. Holy f*#%.” And then I’ll lay there in a horrified daze until someone knocks on the door to remind me that orientation starts soon.
3) Making my first friend in England.
Yes, you read the last sentence of that last paragraph correctly. I did in fact use the word “horrified” on purpose. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a shy, introverted person. I live on the edge of insanity when I get to know someone, but until then, I keep all the weird inside until I know it’s safe to let it out. As such, meeting people can be difficult for me, and building an actual friendship even more-so. The prospect of ice-breaker events terrifies me, and I expect I’ll have to deal with them as part of the International Student Orientation program. But there’s nothing more gratifying than making a genuine connection with someone. So I’ll suck it up and deal with the awkward in-between of being in a new place without your old friends with the hope of making new ones. I know the pay-off will totally be worth it.
4) Decorating my space.
I. Can’t. WAIT to put my own stamp on my room. There isn’t much I am able to do to prepare for my move at this point (I’m still in the waiting zone), but I do have the prints and photographs I plan to put up packed and ready to go. What you love (and why you love it) says so much about you. It’s so much fun for me to walk into someone’s place and try to guess things about them based on what I see on their walls and shelves. It’s even better when you’re getting to know someone and start making definite connections between their personality/history and their interests. Decorating is a way to talk about yourself without saying a word. My new friends will have a LOT to look at/figure out when they enter my space 🙂
I have a running list of bookmarked websites. Afternoon tea. Doughnuts. Cupcakes. Japanese. Indian. Italian. Burger joints. Gastropubs. EVERYTHING. One of my favorite things about traveling to a new place is trying new restaurants (especially those celebrated by the locals). Also, UK junk food wins. I just drooled on my keyboard. Moving on…
6) Making it mine.
Whenever I move somewhere new, the thing I look forward to most is becoming part of the fabric of where I live. Finding the spots I love and becoming a regular. Not needing to use a gps or ask for directions. Introducing the friends and family who visit to the things I’ve discovered and love most about where I live. My mom is planning to visit during Christmastime, and I can’t wait to take her for afternoon tea at Harrods (a place we both luuuurve), to the Tate Modern and the British Museum, and to show her around my campus and Surrey in general.
England is calling my name!