Abroad in London: Actually studying while abroad (or not really)

While I write this post — and simultaneously Tweet about Egypt, check Facebook photos of everyone’s weekend adventures and catch up on my daily dose of news — I am actively procrastinating on writing three papers that are due this week. Yes, three whole papers that are due in the next three days and probably should have been done days ago. Of course it’s just hit me, and perhaps it has hit many of my classmates as well, that we’re actually here in London to — that’s right you guessed it — study.

Studying in London has been a dramatic change from what I’m used to back in Boston. No, it’s not just because I’m living in a different country but it is because classes are structured and taught differently. Classes, or the first two classes I’m set to take this semester, last only five weeks. In fact, this is my last week of classes, the homestretch ending in two finals early next week.

Abroad in London: Actually studying while abroad (or not really)

Having had little time to adjust to life here, I have to prepare myself for the phase that is to come next – one where I’ll be (hopefully – unless all else fails) working four days a week at an internship and taking just one class. This is certainly not like my four classes a week and work situation back at BU.

In these past few weeks, but I suspect a bit less in the following weeks, I’ve had an incredible amount of free time. So much so that I don’t know what to do with myself half the time. Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been gallivanting through London without going to class every Monday through Thursday. There has been some gallivanting, like today’s trip to Hampton Court (which was AMAZING). But the academic feeling hasn’t been the same. I don’t have the same urgency to get things done, even though classes end this week.

Perhaps I can blame this intense procrastination and lazy feeling on the fact that spring break is just a week away. After all, a five-day trip to Spain can do that to a person, right?  Or maybe, in my characteristic blame-it-on-being-a-journalism-student way, I just know that things will get done no matter how much I wait to do it.

Either way, BU London Program, I’ve gotten the hint. It’s time to buckle down and get work done. No more touring the city or traveling to different corners of Europe. But then again, I know that isn’t the way to go either. Because if my time abroad is all work and no play, how will I get the full study abroad experience?

I clearly need to learn how to find a balance between the two aspects of this program — studying and being abroad. And I’m probably not the only one here who needs to work on that balance. So while I consider where I’ll go next weekend and whether I can afford to go to Paris later this semester, I have to force myself to do some work and prove to myself that I didn’t just get into the program on my amazing planning skills. Academics do matter, even if we’d all like to think they don’t.

– Nikki Rojas, Blog Contributor

 

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