• Katie Trojak

Bring on Second Year

Strolling by Buckingham Palace my second day back in London

I know that it’s ridiculous to feel old at just 18. But looking at all the freshers on campus still wearing their bright blue lanyards and looking back and forth between their phone and direction signs makes me feel it.

For any of you not as familiar with the British phrase, fresher is just like the American phrase freshman and just means someone in their first year of University.

I flew into London just over a week ago and as my plane flew over the London Eye, the Shard, and other major buildings, I couldn’t help but feel a parallel to one year ago. Just then, I was coming to London to live. I was moving to a city, another country, for the first time. I hadn’t even started University yet. I had no friends in this country and knew no one.

Can you spot the London Eye in this picture I took as I touched down at London Heathrow?

And just one year later, none of that is true. I know so many people and am surrounded by friends. I’m a third of the way through my degree. I’m not moving to a new city, but am coming home.

It was lovely to get back on campus. My classes have started this week and I’m ready to jump into them. After last year, I finally feel like I know what I’m doing and how to tackle my readings, essays, and projects.

I know how to live in London. Though I’m living in a real apartment for the first time, which I’m sure I’ll write about later, I know how to shop and cook and fit it all in. I know how to get around and what I like to during time off.

I have so many things that I’m excited about.

At school, I’m travel editor for the Strand magazine (www.thestrandmagazine.com) where I’m excited to read and help publish articles our student population has written. I’m also community outreach for Catholic Society and I’m psyched to get others involved.

My best friend, Alex, and I have our podcast “Religious War” coming out October 7. I’ll write a blog post on that soon when the cover art is finished, but we’ve recorded a few episodes already and are so excited to release them.

There’s a million other things I want to get to.

I’m excited to revisit my favorite places in London. I want to host friends over at my new flat. I’m ready to get back to my favorite cafes and study for hours. I love that I have an actual commute on the tube this year so I can read books again.

I’m also ridiculously excited to get to know the freshers this year. I remember how it felt just one year ago, thinking I could do it all but realizing that it was harder than I thought being so far away from home.

Now that I’ve found my footing, I want to help them do the same.

It’s crazy to think about how one year has changed so much. I couldn’t be more thankful for where I am.

Bring on second year.


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