New Chapter? London’s a Great Place to Start

Coming to study in London? You've got so much to look forward to.

London’s a pretty big deal, right? I think I’ve lived here for long enough that I can occasionally forget that, but when I walk over the Millennium Bridge, or wander through Soho, or amble past St Paul’s on my way to the Central London service, I am reminded that London is captivating, and it’s such a privilege to get to live here.

The old adage ‘when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’ is a total cliche, and I’m sorry to even mention it. By writing it, Samuel Johnson proved that if you say something which appeals to London hipsters, even 18th century hipsters, you’ll potentially be remembered forever, although all of your other achievements will fade into lesser significance. Anyway, I am sorry to mention it but unfortunately the reason that saying has endured is because if you live here, and if you love it, that’s exactly how you feel: how could anybody get tired of this?! And most people I’ve met do end up loving it, particularly if they come here to study.

There’s something really special about university in London. I’m about to enrol at my second London university because I just couldn’t get enough the first time, so I’m clearly biased, but there’s also actual statistical evidence. Culturally, the city can’t be beaten. It is a thriving hub of art and creativity, and as a student, you get to enjoy it just as much as people who actually have money because pretty much all of the museums are free! Which we totally take for granted, or at least I definitely do.

London also attracts people from everywhere, which just makes it such a fun and vibrant place to be. Wherever you’re reading this, or wherever you’ve come from, I guarantee you that you’ll find someone from your neck of the woods in London. You can eat cuisine from every corner of the planet, and more importantly, you should eat cuisine from every corner of the planet. You never know what new thing you’ll stumble across, for example, the other day I went to a Brazilian/sushi fusion restaurant and it totally worked. Who knew?

I know a lot of people worry about money when they come to London to study, and I won’t lie to you, it’s a valid concern. But the beauty of being a student in the city is that almost everyone you know is in the same boat as you, so you just find cheap things to do together. And they do exist: free comedy nights, exhibitions, galleries, slam poetry evenings, the late night silent disco at the Science Museum… (That is a real thing. There’s also a late night at the London Zoo.)

One thing that was incredibly important to me when I moved to London was finding a church family, because I knew that anchoring myself in the teachings of the Bible and the love of God was going to be vital in this new, amazing-but-genuinely-quite-terrifying chapter of my life. I actually started coming to Christ Church London on my second-ever day in the city, and just loved it so much that I stayed. Some of the people I met on my first Sunday are still my closest friends at church five years later.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: if you’re moving to the city to study you’re in for a treat, and all of us at Christ Church London would love to meet you and help you find your feet in this huge, sprawling, magnetic, charismatic city of ours. Come find us at any of our Sunday services throughout the new term.

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Andy Tilsley 26th January 2020

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