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. 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.
 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.