By Chanroop Hans – Publicity Officer for the Insight Project
I'm not exactly sure what I expected when I decided to attend law school in England. Would it change my life? Would it be amazing? Awful? Yet my lack of expectations got me through the first semester of my final year. If I am being honest, this was my first time living away from home at the ripe age of 20-something. A part of me felt like I needed this more than ever. The other part was dreading being away from home and everything I knew. It's December now, and I'm on my flight back home to Toronto, and as I look out my window and say goodbye to the London lights, this is what I learned the past two months.
Change can be good; scary but good. I made many new friends, some from places that were not Toronto (surprise), and something tells me these friendships will carry me throughout the rest of the year – in a good way. As hard as it was leaving home, I feel like it gave me a newfound sense of responsibility I can admit I probably did not have just a couple of months ago. Living alone, learning how to cook, and navigating the city; it's very much the adult lifestyle I thought I wanted, maybe just not as much as I thought. But I wouldn't change a thing about it because I feel like I have an experience under my belt that many people don't, and for that, I am grateful. Also, if someone asks you if you're 'alright,' take it as a 'how are you?' rather than an 'are you okay?'
This is probably not something anyone reading this hasn't heard before, but if there was ever a time to live abroad and experience life on the other side of the pond, your 20s are the time to do it. Some of the most breathtaking countries in the world are just a few hours' flight away. Also, the people, culture, and experiences you open yourself up to is a memory that will last you long after finishing law school. It's been a little tricky trying to juggle personal life and day-to-day adjustments in a new place along with school, but I think the uncomfortableness is what makes me want to put in more effort than I probably was last year when I did all this from the safe space of my own house. If there is one positive thing that I can take away from my experience in Leicester so far, it is allowing myself to step out of my comfort zone, which I probably wouldn't have done if I hadn't come here for law school. My answer may have been different two months ago, but I am becoming nostalgic now as I write this and am looking forward to coming back in the New Year, a shock to myself. William Fulbright said it best: “international education is our best opportunity to turn ideologies into human aspirations.”