Learning to Adult: Settling In

The more I’ve grown and developed a taste for being an independent adult, the more I’ve realized that I have no clue how to actually be an adult. At least not a very good one.

I’ve been in England for almost two full days, and I’m proud to say that I have done a decent job at settling into my flat and exploring the area. And by decent job I mean I’m not dead, but I might be lacking a bit of grace.

It all started at the UK Border. The nice guard at customs was fairly patient with me as I stuttered my way through his questions. He even did his best not to audibly laugh when he corrected my pronunciation of my university accommodation (how in the world do you get the pronunciation “keys” from “quays”?)

What commenced after the Great Customs Debacle could only be described as utterly pathetic, though probably a bit comical. I managed to find a group of University representatives who were wonderfully kind and managed to get me on an earlier coach to the university. The problem with this is that I didn’t realize that coach was leaving right away, so I looked up to see a group of students being herded towards the coaches while I sat idly by, trying to keep my eyes open.

I jumped up, grabbed my carry-on, and ran to catch up to the group. Everything could have been okay once I caught up. “Could have” is the key phrase here. In my sleep-deprived panic, I decided to leave most of my luggage behind. So I had to run all the way back, locate my bags, and run towards the coaches. I would love to say no one noticed this, but that wouldn’t be true.

Fast forward several hours later. I made it to my flat without any major mistakes. I did try to enter the wrong house of my building and might have spent nearly 5 minutes just trying to find a staircase, but it all worked itself out eventually. Like I said, just need a bit more grace.

After having some time to sleep and eat, I think this adulting thing might be kind of fun. Sure, I got lost on the way to Tesco and walked by the same set of traffic-bound cars at least three times. I arrived 40 minutes early to a welcome talk because I was afraid of getting lost again. I haven’t had a hot meal since leaving home because I keep forgetting to buy pots and pans.

But I found Tesco just fine the second time. I have food in my cupboard and fridge. I have had at least four cups of my favorite tea. I’ve met most of my flatmates and even risked social interaction by leaving my door open for a few hours last night.

Awkward moments aside, I am really happy to be back in England, and I’m okay with being a bit clumsy at things for now. Moving away from home and settling into a new flat, a new city, and a new country is both terrifying and exhilarating. I am going to mess up. I am going to look like a fool a few times. But I am also going to keep learning, and that is the most exciting part of all.

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