I come from a small city with not a lot going on, and fewer prospects for people who do not want to go into trade work, so I always strived for greater things that my home city just couldn’t offer. When it started to come to the end of my further education I think it’s fair to say I put a lot more pressure on narrowing down my 5 top university choices than most of my friends because if it all went well, I knew this is where I would end up staying to build my adult life. Being more of a creatively experimental person and very interested in the arts, culture and music plus wanting to pursue a career in luxury fashion, I knew London was a no-brainer. Having visited the bustling city on a few occasions for project research and inspiration I was sure I would be happy here.
My favourite thing about London is that I’ve been living here for 5 years now and there is still so much left to discover, I have my preferred places to go but in all honesty I don’t often visit the same place twice because there is always something new popping up. People come from across the globe to make it here and I have had the pleasure of meeting many of them, including our very own Kiwi gal Vikki. It is because of this constant influx of interesting new people, that there is so much cultural variety here, making each area you visit such a different vibe from one another, each with its own heritage and history.
London can sometimes feel like a lonely place when you first arrive and in all honesty going to uni was a great platform for meeting like-minded people who were in the same position as I was, but that does not mean you will find it harder to make friends if you do not go down that route. Through university I met my closest friends, (including 3 members of The Five) who are the reason I stay here. Through my work I have had the benefit of making friends with people who have grown up here and when you haven’t seen your own family in a long time, it is a really nice feeling to be welcomed so openly into someone else’s family home, WITH DOGS!
All in all, London is a fantastic city for exploring, creativity, meeting people and making memories. So if you are thinking of making the move, we at The Five wish you the best of luck in your new adventure and I personally would like to share with you some tips I have learned along the way.
People are actually very welcoming
Depending on what area in London you choose to work and live really depends on the type of people you will meet. What people forget when first moving to the city is that a vast majority of the people you will meet are not originally from here either and have once been in the same boat as you, (the one with no friends) so they are very willing to make you feel welcome and a lot of the time bring you into their friendship circle. There may be a misconception of people here being rude and not speaking to each other but I promise you that is only at weekday peak times on the tube.
Finding a good beer garden is the holy grail of social events.
With London rents being so high and space being limited, it can be difficult to find a good bar or pub with a large outside space, that’s also not totally rammed. Once you find a couple of good ones make a note of them and tell your new friends because they will love you. I find South West London has a majority of good beer gardens and it’s not as far away as people think.
Treasure your good housemates
If like most people you can’t afford your own one or two bed apartment, a house share it is. In a busy and never sleeping city like London, your home is your sanctuary and should be treated as such by everyone who lives there. Good housemates can become lifelong friends, they are your rock and the ones who will down a bottle of wine in the garden with you on a Tuesday evening after a stressful working day. Bad housemates will steal your food and not respect your space, your working hours or your privacy and inevitably take a toll on your stress levels. My advice is that if you are unfortunate enough to have bad house mates, do not take it personally and find a new place to live, there are no shortage of great house shares looking for a tenant.