“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” -Tony Robbins
One of the many things I was looking forward to prior to coming to London was the opportunity to live in an environment that was completely foreign to me. Meaning that I would have to adapt to a new culture, new people, and the hardest part a for me was adapting to a new timezone. I was well aware that by studying abroad I would be out of the loop with the world that I have always been apart of. I would be leaving the student organizations that I was apart of , my sorority, my close circle of friends, and the life I had become so accustomed to. Prior to coming to London, that was an easy concept to grasp, in a sense it was even something that I wanted. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to get out of Philly, while leaving all the drama there behind them?
So far, it’s been great in the aspect. I am able to completely immerse myself in this community without really worrying about everything that is going on back home. But what I’ve noticed here is that it can be really easy to isolate yourself more than you can anticipate. I have already received various lectures that just because I am out here living my best life (as some people may say), doesn’t mean that I can’t still call everyone at home. I can still hear my roommate saying ” Yeah, we all know you don’t like to call anyone while you’re in Philly, but you have to now”…of course I just rolled my eyes at her because I thought I was doing pretty good. I didn’t want to be that one friend that goes abroad and blows up their phone with pictures and stories about my adventures, but I get it now. This was a great learning lesson for me that my communication is not as great as I thought and I should not assume that because everyone is still living their life back home, does not mean they do not want constant updates from me.
So here are a few things that I’ve done to stay involved in life at home.
- Calling my mom everyday...literally everyday because if I don’t, I will probably get a phone call from another family member stating how I’ve allegedly gone missing.
- Staying active on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and even groupchats (Wi-fi permitting)
- Staying present in student organizations. Whether if this is by attending executive board meetings, reviewing meeting minutes, reposting event flyers, etc..
- Staying up later than usual to accommodate for the 5 hour time difference. Usually while I’m getting ready for bed, everyone else is just making their way home, so I have to be considerate of that.
Since implementing these things I have gotten a lot less lectures from my friends and family, less “I thought you got kidnapped” messages, and a lot more “Look at you living your best life” messages.