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Life Indeed Moves Pretty Fast. But Don’t Worry, Ferris, I’m Not Missing a Thing.

I woke up this morning from THE WORST nightmare. I dreamed that I’d gone on a field trip, some students were kidnapped (strange, I know, but bear with me), and I was forced to go back to America. I was physically unable to return to London for the remaining three months of the term. I was so devastated and sad and it all felt so real. How could I have been torn away from my new home? But then I luckily woke up to find that I was safely in my bed in London (especially thanks to my alarm going off 2 minutes later). I guess this means I really, really don’t desire to leave London anytime soon.


But that brings me to the main point of this post. I have been here for ONE MONTH as of two days ago. It’s so crazy! I spent months and years dreaming of what living in London would be like and now I’m actually doing it. Thank goodness I’ve got three months left, otherwise I’d feel like time was just slipping away. And it is, really. But not too fast. Every day we do something exciting and fun. It’s almost like a vacation (but don’t tell my parents!). I even enjoy writing my essays–I mean, Borough and comparing US and UK media? Were these classes designed for me? Obviously not, but I’m certainly a fan of the subject matter.

I feel like being here this term was very opportune, as a) I get to experience the glory that is Christmastime here. THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS. I C

ANNOT WAIT. I will indeed be living  the Love Actually life of feeling like Christmas is all around. And b) because I am realizing just how glad I am I chose Communication as my major. I wanted something that would allow me to explore all my ~communicative~ interests, those being writing, literature, theatre, music, singing, film, and TV, to be sure. For the past two years, I feel like I’ve mainly been focusing on the film and TV side, but I am so happy that I am immersing myself again in all the forms of media that I love. My roomies even sing along with me when I sing aloud at a volume that isn’t as quiet as I may have initially thought….At least Justin says he likes my voice!

So aside from my bouts of Carole King channeling, this week has been busy, busy, busy! I feel like I’m changing and growing bolder while I’ve been here, making decisions to make my life better. But at the same

time, it seems like I’m growing more into myself, or who I’d like to become. It’s funny how going away makes you feel more centered.

Last Thursday we went out to not-so-90’s night at Cargo once again. Love our gang get-togethers. Oh, my mom also met a bunch of my friends on FaceTime as I was baking sausages (turns out that method of cooking takes MUCH longer than using the stove). Can’t wait for everyone to officially meet when my family comes to visit in October (even though my mom totally knows all their names already)!

Speaking of 90’s, have I neglected to catalogue my newfound obsession with the E4 show My Mad Fat Diary??? (holla atcha, Tori).

I watched their show Skins in high school, but I seemed to forget how much their programming tries to stay true to the emotions of teenagers. And Rae is fabulous. Watching her struggle with her self-esteem makes my heart ache, and I just want to shake her and instill in her just how awesome she is! But at the same time, the fact that someone struggling with mental health and body image amidst every other struggle teenagers

endure is refreshing and reflective of what we should be seeing on TV–people whose stories we can relate to! I admire storytelling like this infinitely. Plus, Archie reminds me so much of Carter! What cuties!

Anyway, that Friday after our night out (we were quite tired that morning), we took the train to Oxford! No wonder Jenny in An Education yearned to “read English” there! It was beautiful. We walked around different colleges like Balliol and Christ Church and tried so

me delicious home-made fudge! We saw a Shakespeare exhibit at Bodleian Library, Einstein’s Blackboard, and even some infamous Harry Potter locations (look out for more discussion of those after our Edinburgh trip this weekend!). We didn’t get to see the dining hall tha

t inspired ~the~ Great Hall in the HP films, but we did get to see the inside of the hospital wing (aka where Ron comes to his senses and realizes just how much he does love Hermione, even though it’s in his sleep) and where Professor McGonagall (aka Queen of Sass the Dowager Countess on Downton aka Maggie Smith) teaches all the boys to dance in Goblet of Fire (fun fact: it was the same hall!). 

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Kristy, Claud, and I climbed up the steps to the top of the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin to get a 360 degree view of all of Oxford, which was so worth it! Despite some unruly gusts of wind, our tour guide was so right about how magnificent the view would be. Thanks, Laura!

The train (well, 2 actually) took FOREVER due to lightning striking the train line earlier that day. Not scary or anything. At least we all played some silly games to pass the time we spent standing and trying not to fall on top of each other.


By the time we got home, it was time to head out to our dinner at Mestizo in celebration of Mexican Independence Day! I loved learning more about Claudia’s culture and practicing my Spanish!! Although I may not be as fluent as I was in high school (don’t think I actually was whatsoever, but Ms. Nury said I was so maybe that counts for something),  the waiters were really pleased with my ordering in Español and my knowledge of the language! That

made me feel so proud, and I do want to speak Spanish more!

The plan was to go out dancing afterward, but I was SO tired at the end of the day that I came home and crashed (well, after FaceTiming with my mom, of course).

The next day, I went on a lovely solo trip to Borough Market. I walked

along the Thames, listening to my Adele jams, and decided upon eating at Rabot 1745 in order to try the macaroni and cheese in a cacao nib shell–thanks to my girl Liliana’s suggestion! None of my friends seemed that keen on trying it out (maybe they were fearful of the chocolate and cheese combo), so I made the choice to go myself! I walked right up to the hostess, asked for a table for 1, and she placed me in the best seat I could have asked for on the terrace overlooking my favorite place in London. I wrote in my journal, read Pride & Prejudice, and had a great time chatting with my Italian waiter!

AND the meal was soooo yummy (the savory cacao complimented the cheese pretty well in fact!)! It was such a fulfilling moment of feeling alone but certainly not lonely.

The next day I went to brunch with Miranda! Can’t believe there are such nice cafés basically inside tube stations. I felt like such a ~Londoner~ taking the tube to meet a friend! I loved catching up on life post-Buckley and hearing all about her theatrical pursuits! If you’re in DC this winter, make sure to check her out in the sequel to Pride & Prejudice (she’s playing Lydia)! We had some delicious carrot cake (good thing we shared it) and found out our waiter actually did like us (he must’ve overheard us

saying just how much we thought he was not a fan of ours).

I could’ve gone home after, but then thought: why should I? Let me explore a bit! So I walked around South Kensington past the V&A, past Harrods, and then where did I go? Oh yes, my OTHER favorite place in London. Hyde Park, of course! And as you would expect, I found a bench and journaled for a tad over an hour. It was lovely,

aside from having to move from my first introspection spot in order to evade a pigeon attack. All ended well though.

Yesterday (still can’t get over how my weekends are longer than my weekdays), Taryn, Nicole, and I tried The Breakfast Club for brunch in Soho. The queue was long, but we remained steadfast in our pursuit of joining this exclusive

group of brunchers. However, we were unfortunately disappointed by the quality of our food. You know, my breakfast burrito was alright (not among the likes of Heidelberg Café or Armando’s Lunch Truck), but I did not like that they charged me for 2 black coffees after asking if I wanted a refill. I would NOT have said yes if I’d known I’d get charged double! Give a girl a heads up! The

ambience was cool though, and the music sounded like it came straight out of my iTunes library.

To treat ourselves for turning in our first assignments and to celebrate our first month of British bliss, Claud and I went to the Sanderson Hotel for a spot of the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea. For those Lewis Carroll fans, yes, the theme was Alice in Wonderland-inspired! I had a spot of “Alice” tea while Claud had some “White Rabbit” as we

munched on some mini-croque monsieurs, chocolate caterpillars, and red velvet ladybugs! Oh, and we can’t forget scones, of course! There was also the staple “Drink Me” concoction of passionfruit and coconut panna cotta that tasted like something you’d find on a Hawaiian shore. We had such a blast (much thanks to Alison for the tip!)!

Oh, life update: I’m currently on the hunt for the best scone in England! The kicker is, right now the one to beat is the raspberry scone I got from Woodstock Café in Dublin. I know, I know, how could I find an Irish scone better than one from the land that invented them? BUT if you have any recommendations, please let me know of a place! I’m more than happy to comply with trying more than my usual dose of 1 scone tasting per week.

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Tomorrow Justin, Claud, Kristy and I are seeing Les Mis–SO psyched!–and on Thursday, Ellie, Taryn, Claud and I are catching our flight to Edinburgh!

The adventures keep on coming and rest assured, Ferris Bueller, I am taking note of every second!

Cheers, Tara xx

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