I left London mid-June, and every day since then has been a constant reminder that I’m not there. I’m in my final semester of university right now, and I can honestly say that I always come back to the fact that I want to be back in London. I miss it. I miss the bustle of being in a big city. I miss being able to do anything, almost whenever, and having a whole range of things at my fingertips. One of my professors the other day asked my class why we were tired all the time, and it felt bizarre to think about it because I was never as tired in London as I am at Scripps. Perhaps it’s because there isn’t as much to do at Scripps. Perhaps it’s because I have substantially more homework here than I had during my year abroad. There’s no true answer, but what I do know, is that London is always on my mind, and I miss it a whole lot.
- The tube (and really just public transportation in general)
I had to drive everywhere this summer, and it truly made me appreciate the public transportation system in London. Traffic is awful, but at least during rush hour in London, you can zone out or read a book rather than stare aggressively at the car in front of you that isn’t moving. It’s also very time consuming and I wasted a lot of time getting places over the summer, whereas in London, you can get places pretty quickly. I miss my trusty Oyster card, and watching the stations fly by as the journey continued. Not to mention, I can’t get anywhere in Southern California without a car, and being able to just go somewhere without massive planning is something I truly miss. Okay, so maybe I don’t miss the central line at peak hours, but that’s a small detail (I miss my Picadilly and Jubilee lines though, they’re class).
Good old trusty Spoons. Pubs aren’t particularly a thing in the US (at least, not in my neck of the woods), so this whole environment and tradition are completely lost in my transition back to the states. Who couldn’t love the floral plate designs or the sticky toffee pudding? (The latter being my absolute favorite and I want Spoons to send me their recipe please and thank you). After a QMTC show, or a festival ended, the cast would always end up at the local Spoons, and it’s a grand time.
- The theatre
I cannot even do justice to how much I miss the theatre scene in London. I saw three shows while home for the summer, and throughout my semester at school, I will see four shows, two of which are the theatre department’s performances. It’s a very different world, and not being able to escape into a different world at least once a week has been one of the hardest transitions for me. I think this is perhaps part of why I am not as happy being back in the states, or back at Scripps. I was so happy with all the theatre I was seeing, and being immersed in a place that values the theatre scene, and leaving that has left a decent sized hole in my heart that I’ve yet to fully fill.
- ALL the action
I’m not saying that there is nothing to do in Claremont, but there is nothing to do compared with all there is to do in London. I’ve never been particularly interested in partying and that is one of the predominant activities on campus. Consequently, my weekends seem to be filled with homework, and Netflix, and contemplating what I could be doing instead. I’m not the most outgoing, or courageous person so going out wasn’t my scene in London either, but I could be more convinced to leave my flat in the evening than I am to leave my dorm room on a Saturday night at Scripps.
- Funky crisp flavors
Okay, I don’t really miss these because I genuinely am sort of concerned for the people of the UK who think that prawn cocktail is a good flavor for crisps (chips) because why? That’s not the only one that made me do a double take, and I mean, you do you UK, but I’ll stick to my traditionally salted Walker’s forever. Still, I miss seeing the “out-there” flavors when I would buy my meal deals or just around in the shops.
- The accents
How could I NOT miss these? My friends have taken it upon themselves to make comments whenever I say something that sounds vaguely British, and honestly, I think it’s my way of coping with the lack of the dialect and accent. I watch British shows/films on Netflix now to get my fix, and take myself back a little.
- Scones and clotted cream
I miss these more than I care to admit. The scones in the US are not proper scones. We found clotted cream in the grocery store this summer, so my mother baked some scones and I got to enjoy some scones with clotted cream, and lemon curd (brought back from Fortnum & Mason’s) for a couple days. I would give absolutely almost anything to eat these again, and my friends will attest that I mention my lack of scones quite frequently in the dining halls…
- The sights and history
Museums, and bridges, and galleries, oh my. There are so many things to see in London, and so many of them are infused with culture, and class. It’s so easy to pop into a museum, or into some other venue of note with little to no trouble at all. There’s something about deciding on a whim to go visit something new, and then getting to do it on the same day. Moreover, there’s something fabulous about wandering around the streets, and falling upon something with substantial scientific significance
- Outlet switches
It’s such a simple thing but I miss being able to turn my outlets on and off, rather than having to unplug things in order to save energy. It’s much simpler when the energy is controlled at an individual outlet rather than not. I’m much more conscious of my energy usage now, and I feel like the US should start implementing those switches and make them commonplace.
I miss my box of 80+ PG Tips bags, and being able to have a proper cup whenever I want. Tea in the US just isn’t quite the same as it is in the UK…There isn’t much to say on this topic but I will never say no to a good cup of tea.
Silly, and sometimes a stressful trip, but Primark had so much of what I needed for cheap, and there’s nothing quite like it on the West coast of the United States, so yea, I definitely miss it. And being the Harry Potter nerd that I am, I definitely miss all the Harry Potter items they have…. My Hogwarts fleece blanket is one of my favorite fuzzy blankets and I would very much like more of them.
- The people I met
I would be remiss without mentioning that I miss all the lovely humans I met during my year abroad. Coming back to Scripps has been weird because I missed so much last year, and I’m in an odd limbo phase with my friends here, and my friends in England are so many hours ahead of me that I’ve had some fairly lonely days. Maybe this is what makes me miss London so much…
Miriam studied abroad at QMUL in 2016-2017 and is from Scripps College, California. Miriam is an Alumni Ambassador, so if you’d like to ask her a question about her time abroad – or anything you want to know about studying abroad at QMUL please complete the form below and she will be in touch.