Being single is not a particularly new thing to me. I made a conscious decision to stay single throughout being at University. At no point did I want to be trapped in a relationship and I definitely did not want to feel bad if I went out a lot! After university, I ended up travelling for most of the summer, so again, being in a relationship would end up being more of a hassle than a blessing. I am also only 22 years old, so I don’t feel there is any need to ‘settle down’ yet.
However, being single in London is a whole new kettle of fish. I’ve noticed a stark difference in how people act (particularly girls) on a night out. I’m very much used to girls sticking in their packs being generally quite closed off. To the point where it becomes a serious challenge to commence an engaging conversation. To be honest, I’ve always quite enjoyed this attitude as it makes it a challenge to eventually get her number. It leads to an actual sense of accomplishment. On the other hand, this obviously has its drawbacks, particually when I’m certain I have just seen the future Mrs Mikey and she completely ignores any attempts. Obviously, she is more than welcome to ignore any advances, as long as she does it without appearing rude. Although I have seen how some d*ckheads approach women and I can understand if they are a bit sceptical to guys.
London girls however seem to approach the situation in a much more relaxed, confident and generally freer way. Without sounding like a d*ck myself, I don’t think I am great looking nor do I think I look like a troll, however I have already had more advances from girls on nights out than I think I’ve had during my three years at University. On Saturday night, my friend and I headed up to Camden to have a couple of drinks in a nice beer garden and we got approached three times by three separate groups. Obviously it instantly gives you one hell of an ego boost, but mainly it just sets up an attitude of accessible socializing with people from all over the world.
I don’t plan on getting into a relationship anytime soon, however the winter blues can change that view quite quickly.
Many people told me, before moving, that it’s very easy to feel lonely in London.
I didn’t really understand how this could be possible when your surrounded by so many people. However, even after being here for a short time, I have had a few days where I do feel down. I have desperately tried to keep myself busy to try to block this feeling, but there are inevitably days when everyone I know is taken and I’m stuck with my own thoughts.
The vastness of living in such a large city means there is constantly events or activities going on, however the sheer amount can be quite daunting. I have always lived in much smaller cities where this has never been a problem. This usually led to complaining from everyone I knew that there was nothing to do, however it also meant that everyone knew if you wanted to meet someone, you would know where to find them.
Another unexpected problem I have found about living so central is I have yet to experience any community feel. The tourists outnumber locals 100-1 so it’s also hard to feel like a ‘local’ when the faces change everyday. But I think I have come up with a number of steps that I think might help me, especially as winter is around the corner.
- Drink, but drink less – Nothing new here, but if I wake up feeling particularly rubbish then I won’t do anything all day which does not help.
- Keep busy – This is much easier said than done. I realised not long ago to block out the voice saying “why am I contacting them more than they are trying to get hold of me”. And if the small amount of people I know here are busy then I’m going to go out and do something anyway. I always feel much better when I’ve left the flat, even if it is just to go for a walk and explore the area.
- Try new things – I used to be terrified of stepping out of my comfort zone, now I actually enjoy the thrill. Even if it’s just to go on that date with that random girl or to climb the O2 arena, doing something that scares me will bring a good feeling that tends to last longer than a few days.
- Say Yes – This is similar to the point above, but even if I think I won’t enjoy a certain activity or social, I plan on doing it anyway, in the past I don’t usually end up regretting it.
I am hoping that as I feel more and more comfortable in my new home that these moments will become less frequent. But if any of you have experienced anything similar, or if you have any further tips to combat the emotion go ahead and comment.
It is extremely hard not to be busy in London. That is not coming from someone who is particularly popular or over-confident. In fact, I am not even close to that type. The only people I knew in London, before moving here, is my best mate from University and a few “bump into” friends. I was also very conscious not to constantly bother my mate as he has always lived in London and already has quite a life here. But this weekend I have ended up having drinks with four different groups of people over three nights, and I have not been disappointed by either night.
As I mentioned, I’m not the most confident guy you will ever meet. Neither am I the quietest. I will always be sociable, but I will never be that stand out “lad” at a party. I think I am very British in this attitude. It is my nightmare to stand out too much or to be too loud. Having this type of personality has got me through my life quite adequately so far, with no serious implications, and has generally led me to fitting in quite well. London however has been an awakening. In certain areas, the brighter and the bolder the better. This is definitely not true in all areas. If you went out in certain business-man areas then this is definitely not the case. I’ve also always been taught to be extremely modest about myself, in all aspects, and to in no way show off any money I may have accumulated. This feeling again is not mirrored in the attitudes of many Londoners who want people to believe they are worth more than they could ever hope to have. I have always found this annoying and generally pathetic, but it seems to be a general trend for much of London (and probably most of the world).
Going out has allowed me to explore and see areas of London I have’t been too (or wouldn’t even think about going). This weekend I was in Shoreditch (east), Soho (central) and Elephant and Castle (South). Each area had its own culture which resulted in each night feeling very different. From chilling with a random group on leather sofas in one bar, to half-naked girls dancing on the bar as you’re trying to take your drinks in another. There is definitely something for everybody.
The first thing I have learnt is to never say “no” to any opportunity to drink. For anybody reading outside of the UK, the only way friendships are made here is through drinking. I’ve heard in some countries like the U.S.A people would meet over a coffee or some rubbish like that. The casual drinking culture we have is one of the best and one of the worst characteristics of my country. Firstly, its brilliant because it relaxes everyone around the table and allows everyone to talk confidently. Also, no thought needs to be put in to decide what you’re going to do. You got a promotion, pub. I got lucky last night, pub. It’s a nice day, pub garden. The only real negative is the cost (particularly in London). When its hard to find somewhere selling a pint for less than a fiver, the total cost will very quickly become slightly more than going for a coffee.
In general however, I have really enjoyed being out in London so far. As long as you are happy to constantly be mixing with people from all over and from different walks of life then I’m sure you would enjoy it as much as I. On Thursday I was talking to this girl who I later realised was my work colleagues, friends, work colleagues sister, and she was meant to be in the same group as me!
Hopefully, one day, I will have enough money to go out in London without that horrible feeling of knowing that I spent my months budget on one round of drinks.
I started my graduate job around a month ago now. It’s not my first job (like many of the very middle class graduates I’m joining), but it sure is a step up into adult life. I always said to myself that once graduated from university I would take another year out to travel and “find myself”. I still don’t understand what “find myself” means. Is it really a thing? I honestly think it’s just what people say when they are trying to sound deep and spiritual, or to try impress the people around them. But after feeling the pressure of all my friends at uni applying for dozens of grad jobs themselves, I felt like I should do too.
I applied for the job I have now in September last year. Which I honestly think is a problem with graduate positions, as they are missing out on great future employees who just wanted to think about all of their options before making a decision. But after seven stages of interviews and assessments, I knew I had the job in February. I still think the only reason I got the job was because I felt no pressure. I went to each interview thinking, if I don’t get through then I can go travelling. I’m not particularly smart, so that’s the only reason I can think of as to why they chose me.
I’m not going to bore you with who I work for or what I specifically do (or end up doing), but it’s generally in the finance sector. This however involves me spending another three years of my life studying to gain my ACA chartership (professional qualification). I’m extremely jealous of a lot of my friends who are completely done with education. No more exams. No more coursework. But hopefully it will pay off in the future. This has led to a lot of my first month being at college or having self-study days. It’s like being back at freshers again! Luckily I did a degree in Finance, so this means I’m keeping up with the material far better than many of my colleagues. I would like to say however, that within the first week of college, they had covered what I learnt in my first two years at Uni. So it’s definitely not a walk in the park.
I have started at a very large, global company so my graduate intake is around 800 people just in London. Much of the time it feels very much like being back at uni. I still haven’t actually done any proper ‘work’ as yet. It’s just been introduction after introduction. Training after training. But its a lovely feeling when the payslip comes through and you can’t think of one piece of beneficial work you have completed. I’m very aware this will probably change very soon as the busy period quickly approaches!
I will write soon about the social side of work-life thus far, as that is where the majority of my time and effort has been spent so far. If you are planning on applying for a graduate job then follow or sign up to the email alerts at the top of the screen.
Been a little longer since my first post than I wanted, but I finally got around to it.
I thought I would describe the whole process I went through to find a place in London. I had no real connections in London, especially no RICH friends who I could take advantage of. So that was problem number uno. Secondly, I heard from people who had been to London previously say it was a fairly big place. This made me quickly realise that I’m not really moving to London, I’m moving to one of the many ‘towns’ of London. And I had no clue (still don’t really) as to which one to research into.
To solve problem one, I quickly came across SpareRoom. As I’m sure your aware, the cost of living in London is one of the highest in the world. This threw any plans of living in a nice one bed flat, out the window. I pictured the whole set up. Surround sound speakers. A fireman’s pole downstairs into my indoor pool. But with the use of SpareRoom I managed to find a number of places (actually quite nice places) within my budget. The catch however, was generally having to share the place with random people.
The sites simple. See a place that looks good, email them and organise a viewing, and if all goes well, move in. I probably ended up viewing around a dozen places leading up to moving in, so I feel like I gained some knowledge on how to spot the good from the bad.
- ALWAYS check the ages and mix of the current tenants. One viewing of mine led me to sitting, drinking tea with a 48-year-old man and his partner while they described how much of a waste of space a TV is. Even when chatting at the viewing, make sure you delve into the working/social life of your (possible) future housemates in as greater depth as possible.
- Make sure your confident in the viewings. It’s a weird situation anyway as both parties are interviewing each other. But make sure you ask all the questions you need too to feel happy.
- Don’t be to strong about taking somewhere. On one occasion I viewed a place in Camden that I thought was pretty perfect. Within 30 minutes I had sent a message expressing that I will take the room, only for them to awkwardly come back saying that they didn’t think I was a good fit. So again remember it is a two-way process.
- Don’t trust anywhere with limited number of pictures. I saw many adverts where the advertiser would state how they are just to busy to take loads of pictures. I truly don’t understand how it can take more than 5 minutes.
- Always ask for a phone number. Countless times I got lost and it definitely helps to have a way to quickly let them know you may be a few minutes late.
- Finally I do actually suggest paying for the early-bird package thing. It gives you an edge over the competition and allows you to contact the accommodations before every one else. Which is vital, when places move so quickly!
When it came to where in London to live, I used sites like Movebubble. They give SOOO much information about each area of London and its specifically tailored towards young professionals. After hours researching and narrowing myself down to three areas, I decided to completely ignore all of it when I found a place near Bond Street. Initially I never bothered looking this central as I thought it would always be too expensive. But like always, if you bother to look or ask, something might just happen.
And that’s where I find myself today. Living in a fantastic location, for dirt cheap prices, with three fantastic girls and loving the London Life….