The first week of real classes came and went. The workload is quite intense already; it took me hours to simply put together the reading list for the term! At the same time, I’m being a complete dork and loving all of my lectures. I went to a few company presentations for consulting firms this past week and noticed a change in myself. Pre-Peace Corps, I was always very intimidated by these events and often become a bit edgy in making sure I make the best impression to recruiters. But post-Peace Corps, I have a brand new perspective.
At the BCG presentation, they walked through a mock example of how their firm handles a project. I realize all the steps I’ve taken alone in executing projects in the Peace Corps, and I did it all with shotty electricity, no running water, limited resources, etc. While sitting amongst a bunch of eager students trying to land a job, all I could think was, “I lived in a village in Africa for TWO YEARS. I got this.” It’s hard to make a big deal of most situations when you compare them to trying to manage basic survival.
Met a fellow RPCV who is in the 2nd year of the MPA program. Love the instant bond that Peace Corps provides. I think we made whoever talking to us at the time slightly uncomfortable when we started talking about how often we discuss the state of our bowel movements during service.
I relished in solitude today. Weather was foggy and gray out there, so not particularly enticing. The days where I can stay all day indoor all day and putt around doing what I like is now few and far between. Those days were norm au Cameroun, but now, they are rare gems.
Having a social life again is exciting; constantly meeting new people, having appointments for lunch, brunch, dinner, coffee, etc. is at the same time extremely fun yet a little exhausting. The social expectation in the real world is something I’ve forgotten about in Cameroon. Last night, I felt bad for the first time in a long time because I was taking a long time to get myself motivated for a night out. That is not a feeling I ever had to deal with in Cameroon.
I’ve also been increasingly feeling a bit guilty for not taking advantage of all the art, culture, and fun that London has to offer. Going from a life where the only social activity is to drink beers with villagers on some wooden bench to a city that has everything to offer is a lot to take in. Baby steps. I’ve put in my fair share of socializing thus far and it was good to take a day for myself and realize it’s completely okay.
Just when I thought I was doing a stellar job moving right onto this next phase of my life, I realize there are many aspects of life that will take a long time to adjust. Try as I might, going from an African village to the capital of the UK is just not that simple.