Now that I’ve had the time to recollect, here are the most important things I’ve learned from studying in London:

1.) Appreciate opportunity. By being in London or any new place for that matter, we often get so interested in wanting to see everything there is to see. We lose sight of why we are there in the first place; in this case: to study and learn. Learning from experience was the best thing I could have taken away from this trip. When else are you going to be able to say that you did something that made a difference in your life overseas? Just think, someone would love to be in your shoes for the opportunity you were given. Make the most of it when you can.

2.) Try new things! Whether if it’s trying new food, going to new place, or meeting new people. Life is way too short to regret something you did not do. You never know how you are going to feel if you never experience it for yourself. Try it, and if you don’t like it that is totally okay. You will be okay. There shouldn’t be an itinerary to your whole life. Your life should never be “regular” or taken too seriously. You are in a new country, try new things.

3.) Be spontaneous, but be kind. Of course you can do whatever you please, but don’t forget to be a decent human being. It is instinctual to put ourselves first, but what about other people that surround you? We get so focused on our well-being and state of mind that we don’t realize how we make others feel sometimes. You never know what a person could be dealing with in their personal life. We are told this from a young age, but do we listen?? If you expect people to take you under consideration, you should do the same for them in return.

4.) Communicate. So many of our problems can be solved if we take the time to find the right words to say. There are several approaches to getting the message across. Be clear and concise, but also be civil. Given the chance that something feels wrong, talk about it. A person can’t fully understand that they have done something wrong if you don’t tell them directly.

This trip has made me look at these four things I have always kept with me in a different light. In just ten days, we were able to take away physical and mental experiences. Studying abroad is a great experience to have, but don’t forget about your values and the things that make you, you. I am thankful to have been able to study in such a beautiful city with my peers and two dedicated professors. We’ve all worked so incredibly hard. I am grateful that we had a safe trip there and back. If I was given the chance to study abroad again, I would take it in a heartbeat. Long live Lab 103!