Moving to London is one of the most exciting and nerve-racking experiences that a young graduate can undertake, but a worthwhile one nonetheless. Securing your first graduate job can be a scary prospect, but throw a change of environment into the mix and it suddenly becomes even more daunting. When you make your big move, you quickly learn several life-changing lessons, ranging from the daily financial struggle to communicating with strangers. Here is what to expect when you make your move to London:
1. London is expensive! There is no getting away from it, it is one of the world’s most pricey cities. When it comes to renting a property, you might start looking for something similar to your three-bedroom family home in the country. Think again! A small garage will probably cost the same as the comforts of home that you left behind. If that isn’t enough, living on your own is virtually impossible as the London property market is competitive and expensive, so don’t be surprised when you view a 15-bedroom house with only two bathrooms.
2. Make sure you own an Oyster card, if you don’t have one then you can easily pick one up from main stations in London or order one online. You can load weekly or monthly travelcards onto it, which can make you real savings. Public transport is essential for everyone that lives in London, and is the fastest way to travel. Therefore, make sure you’re prepared. Transport is cash free so don’t get caught out and board a bus armed with only a hand full of change, you won’t get far!
3. In London, Uber is a big deal and is arguably the best app that you can download whilst living in the capital, so chuck out your pile of taxi cards! Uber is cheaper than other taxi services, so don’t get stuck in central London without this app or you will end up paying a fortune for a black cab.
4. When you were in your home town, you may have known and said hello to everyone you walked pass. However, smiling at strangers on the streets of London is not a common practice. Be wary of who you say hello to as you may get an unexpected and cold response.
5. New York may have bagged the official title, but London really is a city that never sleeps - Tuesday night in London is like Saturday night everywhere else. A Wednesday hangover can become a weekly occurrence for those that can handle it. If you thought that wasn’t enough, supermarkets are often open 24 hours a day, so there’s no need to run to the shop before it closes.
6. You have an array of culture on your doorstep, from theatres, opera houses and even cat cafes. Take advantage of the free museums, exhibitions and festivals which are dotted across every corner of the city. One of London’s greatest assets is the sheer number of free events that take place, so make sure you don’t miss out.
7. If you do not stand on the right-hand side of an escalator be prepared to get mauled. Literally! Rush hour on the tube is hectic, people constantly pushing and bumping into you is a regular occurrence. So make sure you are careful, patient and stand on the right to avoid angry commuters.
8. Think of London as loads of tiny towns rather than one big city. Each area of London has its own unique style, from Soho to Brixton to Camden Market, there is so much to see and do. Explore all the wonderful places which are imbedded in the heart of London; you never know what you will set your eyes on next. Also be prepared to cover some serious miles on foot to see it all.
Moving to London will be one of the best decisions you have ever made. With so much to do, see and appreciate, you are living in the hub of the UK with so many experiences ahead for you to enjoy.