ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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London Yields

A recent graduate from the London School of Economics reminisces about the triumphs and tribulations of living and studying in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

Being a student at an institution like the London School of Economics (LSE) is like taking part in a race against time, scurrying to cram two years’ worth of learning into 20 weeks. Your life revolves around the library, the printer and the nearest café, as you grapple with complex theories and arguments. You are constantly evaluating and dissecting everything you come across. You spend time in class either too afraid to talk for fear of being labelled a complete idiot, or you feign knowledge by throwing around intelligent-sounding terms. Soon you lose yourself in the messy midst of caffeine, endless journal articles and highlighted sentences that don’t mean anything anymore. As weeks rush by, you see your body slowly separate itself from your mind. Your senses submit themselves to the constant monologue in your head, on loop, whining about the lack of time, the mountain load of work, the exhaustion and the deadlines. Soon you stop hearing others’ voices. You see only text and ignore life as it unfolds right under your nose. You eat because you are hungry, gobbling down what’s on your plate, not tasting much, your eyes intent on the screen, scrolling down your Facebook/Twitter feed, wishing you “had the time” to travel or go out, or read fiction or learn a new skill...time to do anything but work!

Cities do that to you. When you are constantly bombarded with all kinds of visual and auditory stimuli, you learn to tune things out and just focus on what you want. You become single-minded in purpose; when you leave home for some place, you keep just the destination in mind and let your feet guide you as you stress about how much work there is to be done through the rest of the day. You detach the senses from one another and from yourself as you robotically tread on, not realising there’s a living, breathing world around you. 

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