Carol (1/3): “I left India as a girl and came back from London as a woman”

“Everything was new to me”

I did my Bachelors in Mass Communications in London. I loved London, all the beautiful places and the people. You would find different people from all different countries.

 

Everything was new to me. The language, the culture,

the people, the lifestyle, everything was new!

It was overwhelming.

 

At first it was very exciting, but that wore off and then I was like “Oh shit, what have I gotten myself into?” So it went up and then crashed down and it stayed there for some time. But I got up again.

 

What was different about London was how accepting it was. You could be white, black or any color in-between and no one would give a darn. Everyone was so busy with their lives and I felt like if I would drop a bag and left it there everyone would just walk over it.

 

I think it was so different for me because where I have lived in India everyone knows everything about you. I’m from a small town and I grew up with and experienced that for 18 years of my life, everyone cared about everything I did. Like who I was speaking to, what I was doing with my life, all those things.

 

And then I moved to a country where no one would give a damn about you.

It was good and it was also bad.

 

British people don’t show their emotions, for me that was always a problem. When I am happy you will see it on my face, when I am annoyed you will see it on my face. Did I try to learn how to master my emotions? I tried, but it’s fair to say that I failed miserably. These days, I have learnt to accept it as something that is uniquely ‘me’.

 

“I had to have that experience to be who I am now”

I was young, 18, and it took me quite a few trials to find out how to be independent and how to live my life. That’s something that London taught me, how to be independent. It took me a lot of time to find my balance.

I didn’t know how things worked. I remember I had all these spam emails and I used to reply to all of them because I thought it’s a real thing (laughs).

 

It helped me to know myself more, I didn’t have anyone with me. I had to make sure how to take care of myself. I had to make sure I was studying and working part-time, I had never done that in India.

Once I left London I knew no matter what happens to me I will always be fine. It was like being thrown into an ocean without being taught swimming. I learned to survive.

I went to London as a girl but I left London as a woman.

That was nice.

 

I had to be in a place like London to grow up,

to become more mature, become more world-wise.

 

I was a really protected kid. My parents and my brother told me what to do. I was the youngest one. I always obeyed them, I never had to think for myself, and I never had to take responsibility. It was good but it didn’t make me a wise person.

So coming from that and moving to a place like London was a huge life experience.

 

I didn’t like the high living expenses in London, most of the money I earned, I’ve spent it there. I never lived much, I was always working, always studying. I was a poor student with a debt of a high amount. Every single penny I earned I had to pay back. My tuition fees was about 9000€ per year for three years plus the living expenses that was almost the same. So it was a huge amount of money.

It was a struggle.

 

There were times when I was overwhelmed and I felt really alone. I had the best and the worst of my days in London.

 

I had to have that experience to be who I am now.

 

Dubai was like a holiday after that. It was much more simple and easier.

 

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