Adjusting to Life Across the Pond

I am entering my third week in the UK and have absolutely loved my experience thus far. There is just something so exciting about being in a new place and having the ability to go on adventures to discover new parts of London. Trying to navigate my way around this massively winding maze is absolutely exhilarating (and at time a little horrifying as well).

My internship is phenomenal. I work for Michael Evans who is the MP for Cardiff North in Wales. It is fascinating to be in the heart of British politics and see the similarities and differences between the political issues in the UK and US[1].  I have been given a lot of independence to attend committee meetings and events that interest me and write briefs detailing the issues discussed. Even this far in, I still think I am having a difficult time comprehending that I am even in London experiencing Parliament. Everyday when I arrive at work, I hop of a double-decker bus in front of Westminster Palace, walk past Big Ben, and go to work. It is like a bizarrely wonderful dream.

I am also enjoying my experience outside of work. When I first learned that I was the only intern going to London for the summer, I was incredibly apprehensive. I have traveled abroad and participated in a variety of internships before, but I have never done anything of this magnitude alone.  Part of what made my past experiences more comforting was that I was surrounded by a peer group going through the exact same thing I was.  I knew that this time, I wouldn’t have that to fall back on.

Despite that apprehension, I am having a wonderful time and am pleasantly surprised by how comfortable I am being alone. It is nice being able to go somewhere on a whim, go home when I want to go home, and rely on myself. It may sound incredibly corny, but I am really enthused by the fact that I don’t need a cohort around me to have a stellar time. That is not to say that there aren’t drawbacks. For example, I do get lonely from time to time and I don’t have cool pictures of myself to put on this blog like the other interns. I absolutely refuse to fall to the level of taking “selfies” of myself across London. No. Thank. You. However, the lack of pictures could also be attributed to the fact that I stubbornly refused to bring a camera (after all my phone has a camera) and am just not a big “document every moment of my life” person like most of my peers seem to be.

Don’t worry, I will try to work on that.

Cheers!

Molly

[1] Specifically, it has been insane to see the public opinion towards same-sex marriage and gun control. While both topics are currently major issues in the US, same-sex marriage hugely salient right now in British politics whereas there is almost no debate over gun control. Most firearms have been banned in the UK for close to 3 decades after a school shooting in the 1980s. In fact, most law enforcement officials don’t even carry any type of firearm. 

First Attempt to Overcome an Irrational Fear of Blogging:

Hello! I don’t know what has compelled you to read about my summer interning in England. You may be a staffer of the Hinckley, a fellow intern, someone in my life who wants to make sure I am still alive, or someone incredibly bored online with time to kill. Whatever your situation, I welcome you to this majestic forum recording my times in London. 

Before we get too far into this, I just want to warn you of a couple of things.

  1. I have never blogged before. I have thought about it. I have even opened up accounts to blog. However, I have never actually blogged. Why? Because it HORRIFIES me. I get so nervous about publishing something with my name on it that will live forever online. I’m mostly horrified that I will make some grammatical error and everyone will judge me. I am extra worried about that now because this blog is for the Hinckley Institute of Politics, so it has to live up to a reputation of being absolutely amazing. Additionally, I am afraid that I will slowly turn into an “over-sharer”. Everyone knows one of those people who believes the world genuinely cares about things like what they ate for breakfast or pictures of what their feet look like at various places.
  2. I am a relatively awkward soul. I try to lock up the awkward to the best of my ability, but chances are high that it will eventually sneak its way in here (if it hasn’t already).

So sit back, grab some tea, and prepare to hear all about my adventures across the pond. 

Cheers!

Molly