The UK is an interesting place. From the very thick accent to the cars driving on the wrong side of the road. It hasn’t been a week, but so far, I love it here. It wasn’t until my first night in my new flat that it all settled in. Even when I was in DC and London, I felt like I was in a dream, where I could wake up any minute next to my dog Lobo back home in NY. That isn’t the case anymore. I’m waking up in Liverpool, a beautiful city, ready to discover a whole new part of myself.
The 2013 Marshall Class. I am among some of the most brilliant and interesting people I have met. I’ve been fortunate enough to have grown up around some of the greatest minds of my town, school(s), city, and probably the world, but my Marshall cohort is on some seriously valid level (we out here!) We made each other feel at home, even when none of us knew what the future held. Studying things from astrophysics, post colonial thought, to art, the conversations I had during orientation were stimulating, deep, and fun. Aside from being ridiculously intelligent, we know how to have a good time. From our Lord of the Rings jokes, to corny puns and dancing like no tomorrow, we’re a rather hilariously warm spasmodic group of people.
Getting settled in. The struggle is incredibly real. For the first few days, my body was confused and felt sick. I’m not a breakfast person, but given the whole change in time zones, my body really had no clue what meal I was having, or if my dinner was more like a very late night [after party] Jersey City run to get some fried chicken. Getting my internet and phone set up was a challenge in itself, as well as navigating through the University in trying to get my paperwork done. The joys of being an adult.
Liverpool and the University. Liverpool, so far, is beautiful. I live in the city centre, so everything is accessible and a walk away. The nearest Pub, Fonte, has cheap beer, pints, ale, and everything else. I was shocked at the prices, and how they compared to NYC. A shot for 3 bucks, all day, unheard of in NY. The University is huge, and the campus is beautiful. It has an urban feel, infused with old Victorian style buildings. A huge change from John Jay. Walking from North Hall to West Port isn’t much of a challenge anymore – JJay homies, you can’t complain anymore.
A time for me to explore new things. When I was awarded the Marshall, I expected my life to follow the same routine as my undergraduate studies. Find a relevant internship in the community, get on a few research projects, excel in class, read, write, and do the academic hustle. Apparently, that is not the typical life of a Marshall. While meeting alumni during orientation, we learned that getting a job was typical, and a job unrelated to what we were studying. Some scholars bartended, freelanced for magazines and newspapers, barrista’d, parked cars, and a load of other odd jobs. Aside from the traveling, scholars explored completely new things, like hiking, cricket, joined improv groups, or just took it easy (relatively speaking). Having been someone who could never sit still and always was looking for a project to get involved in, this was a huge surprise. Was I supposed to not go as hard as I had been for the past 3 years at John Jay? Or better said, was I supposed to believe that was okay?
I’m actually glad this is the case. There was a huge sense of combined relief and anxiety to my newfound freedom. I could bartend. I could work at a bookstore (which I am actually pursuing – what could be better than being surrounded by books all day – selling them and not reading them?) I could invest time in photography, freelance write, read random books (given I have more time to do so), go hiking, join a local film club, or just hang out at the pub. I can even open a Pupusa Food Truck – haven’t had much luck finding a pupuseria in Liverpool. I’m happy, because for the past three years, I’ve focused so much on getting to the next step, I put a halt on discovering new things about myself. Who knows what might happen here, maybe I’ll do a complete 180 and decide not to pursue academia. But from what I’ve gathered so far, thats okay. I’m going to just live and be a free spirit, with my long hair in stride.
I do miss everyone, and I mean seriously miss everyone. From my fellow Bloodhounds, McNairs, HP’ers, CJ, my best friends, and my family (especially my dog). But apparently, two years goes by quick. Now, I’m just ready to hit the ground running, but for entirely different reasons.
Now all I need to find is someone who speaks spanish in Liverpool.