London is hectic but at the same time very mesmerizing. This is the place where the contemporary and the nostalgic come together side by side and sometimes even blend in with each other.
I have now spent more than six weeks in London and I am still amazed by the extent London has amalgamated its diverse population, foods and culture. Every borough is unique and feels like a city of its own and every newly explored street unravels unique and exciting discoveries. Despite the fast pace of the city, you can feel the breath of history in London. The place on the south bank of the Thames, today's district of Southwark where I live, was strategically located and soon connected to the north bank, today's City of London.
Many cultural idiosyncrasies such as the elegant afternoon tea persist. The British Teatime gives students and basically anyone an enjoyable break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in London. In London, people from more than a hundred seventy nations live together and next to each other and in the streets you can hear more than four hundred different dialects and languages. This diversity is also noticeable in the cityscape. If you only travel a few stations on the subway, you feel like you are on another continent – something very unique only to London! In this great cultural melting pot, everyone is a foreigner and a speciality.
Covid, unfortunately, has made things a little different. Restaurants close at 10 pm and the city atmosphere is very different compared to normal times. During the first six weeks of my stay in London, I had to self-isolate, due to a positive corona case in my household. In the United Kingdom, households are defined by the usage of one common kitchen; and although I did not know the person with the positive corona case, I had to self-isolate as well. Just now, at the time I am writing this, the British government has announced a mild lockdown. The situation seems very surreal; however, university life still keeps ongoing. All lectures are currently delivered online and seminars take place in-person.
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has an amazingly modern and artistically pleasing campus. The library spans countless books on seven different levels and the School offers various support structures for academia, personal growth and general wellbeing. The coursework at LSE is quite rigorous and students are expected to self-study for several hours every day; however, I deem this to be a positive aspect of uni life, as it enhances our self-management and learning skills.