Let me start off by saying that I definitely do not know everything and I'm not trying to claim that I do. What I do want to share with you guys is what I have experienced and learnt so far in the hopes that it helps at least one person. If you are going through something similar and have anything to add, please feel more than welcome to contact me and let me know.
1. It's REALLY hard
When I say it's hard, I don't just mean it's tough. I mean it's much more difficult than I would ever have imagined. I see families together and feel so jealous. My Mum, Dad and I are such a close knit family, like best friends. You lose your 'normal'. You no longer have easy contact with friends and you can't just meet for coffee. It's hard because even though you do still have those people, they're far away and you'll have days when you just feel lonely. That's okay...realise that it's normal and that tomorrow is another day.
More than likely you'll have to commute in the beginning. London is expensive (everyone says it and everyone knows it). Unless you really are one of the few very wealthy people, you won't be moving straight into your dream apartment in London. Don't let this stop you because hard work will inevitably lead there. If you're really lucky (like I am) and you have family to stay with, count your blessings, realise how much they're doing for you and thank them for everything they do for you. The commute will add at least two hours to your day in total. I leave just after 6 in the morning and just make my 9 am start time (usually plus 5 minutes - sorry Kirsty). I leave work at 5 and then get back home at around 19h45. It makes your day long and tiring, be prepared for this.
In saying this, you will be tired for the first week. Like dead on your feet tired. You'll get through it. Try to get as much sleep as possible as it definitely does help.
You'll be poor for the first few months and you know what, you'll survive. If you watch my videos on my Youtube channel, you'll see that next week's video is dedicated to fashion on a strict budget which should help you along for the first few months. I will also be doing a video on living strictly on a budget in terms of the best shops for budget necessities and beauty products. Having a small amount of money to work with builds character and it's something which will inevitably stand you in good stead for the future. Also, my Mum mentioned a few times to me about spending during your first month of work...try not to do it (or to spend as little as possible). Only spend the money you have and you haven't been paid yet. It will be tempting though because you're working so hard and #treatyoself will be in the back of your mind.
Can't say too much on this but where you can find support, take it and accept all the help you are offered. If you are confused or unsure, ask for help because people will generally help you if you ask. Also, ask questions about anything and everything...if you don't know which train you need, ask and ditto for everything else.
5. The act of being an adult (not really)
Being an adult (adulting as I like to call it) is really hard. It's supremely difficult to walk through the door at 19h45 and start cooking something to eat. Use Tesco, Sainsbury, M&S and Waitrose ready meals. There are some great freezable meals available and all you have to do is chuck it in the oven for 30 minutes or so and boom, a healthy(ish) meal. Also mentionable under this topic is cooking things and knowing when they're cooked. The other night I wasn't sure about how to cook prawns and Siri was an absolute saviour (prawns go pink when cooked). Also worth noting here is that you will inevitably do some stupid things...an example of one of these things might be leaving your curling iron/straightener on all day. It's a mistake and more than likely you won't actually burn down the house but be careful and most importantly learn from it.
6. Meeting new people
This is probably the most terrifying thing on the list. It's absolutely nerve wracking going into a situation where you know absolutely nobody but its life and its necessary. The best advice I can give here is to simply dive right in. You have to initiate conversation which is extremely hard but once that hurdle has been jumped, you're pretty much there.
It's always tough to deal with rejection and if you're moving to a new place, it will inevitably happen. Between the applying for jobs and meeting new people aspects, you are bound to be rejected a couple of times. The best way to deal with it is just to know how awesome you are and try not to let it bother you. If necessary you can also have cry in between (then get over it though because it just isn't the end of the world).
8. Nothing is permanent
If you move to a different country, it will inevitably be difficult and you'll have moments when all you want is to go home. It's vital to give yourself enough time to adjust and a great way to do this might be to set a deadline of 6 months. If you're truly still unhappy after that time period, you can always go home and re-think. The same applies to jobs. I have been so lucky in that the job that I do is something I enjoy and I also have the bonus of a great boss and working at a fab company.
9. You don't have to be perfect
You will make mistakes and get things wrong, It is inevitable. There is no such thing as a perfect person and to be quite frank, nobody expects you to be. Whether you make mistakes in a job or just generally within life, it doesn't matter as long as you learn from them.
10. We are lucky
Being able to live a life like I do, being able to follow your dreams and do what you want to do and what you love doing is so special and we need to realise this. It is too often that we focus on the bad things that happen and what we don't have rather than what we have and just how lucky we are. Also, how lucky that we live in such a connected world where you can speak to your parents and friends face to face.
11. Thank You
I this part, I'd just like to really thank my parents and family for being so great (you don't HAVE to read this part if you are not a family member)
Thank you first to my Mum and Dad, I know how hard this is for you. I miss you like hell and I miss just being able to touch you and say good morning to you. It's the simple things in life that I miss the most. Thank you for helping me out in terms of money...for not allowing me to start off in debt and for helping me as much as you possibly can. I love you more than you could ever know.
To my Aunt who has taken me in. Thank you so much, Mary. You have been a blessing and you have done so much for me. You help me along and give moral support, love and a place to stay. I am forever grateful to you for everything you have done and I love you so much!
To my grandparents, thank you for the constant messages of support. It means the world to me. More than that though, thank you for supporting Mum and Dad through this.
To my British family, thank you to all of you (you know who you are) for including me and integrating me into the family. I love you all so much and I am forever grateful to all of you. It can't have been easy to suddenly have an extra person but you have made me feel nothing if not welcome.
Thank you for reading and I hope that this helps someone out just a little.