100 Days, 100 Lessons Learned

Today marks my 100th day living in the United Kingdom and it's still pretty surreal. Here are 100 random things I've learned (or re-learned/had reinforced) since moving here. 

1. Sometimes when things don’t work out as planned, it can be a good thing if you can work through the stress
2. Making a radical decision, like moving across an ocean, is hard on so many levels but will teach you valuable things about yourself and help you grow more than you could imagine
3. Having an international support system is pretty incredible (shout out to my parents for mailing me stuff and Tori for doing random favours for me)
4. Banks suck
5. Vodafone sucks
6. Southern trains suck
7. Time differences suck
8. UK currency is much cooler than the US
9. The tube is superior to every other public transportation system I’ve encountered
10. Just because two people speak the same language, doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily understand each other
11. VPNs are wonderful
12. Postcards are really fun, both receiving and sending
13. Everyone should learn a second (or third or more) language, and the younger the better
14. Coffee is better in the US (someone send me Dunkin iced coffee please)
15. Tea is better in the UK

16. Aldi is still the greatest grocery store ever
17. It may be cliché, but life is short so take advantage of every opportunity you get
18. Food brings people together
19. It’s a privilege to be able to find something you love and pursue it
20. Budgeting is hard
21. Splurging on experiences like travel may hurt your bank account, but they are absolutely worth it
22. Take pictures of the important moments, but don’t spend so much time behind the lens that you forget to enjoy and embrace those moments
23. Stereotypes are meant to be broken
24. Cooking is hard
25. You’ll be amazed at how much you learn when you expand your world view by interacting with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds and different identities
26. Portable chargers are clutch
27. As you grow friendships change, sometimes for the worse sometimes for the better
28. The American political system is fucked, but then again so is most of the world
29. The more you learn the more you realise how little you know
30. The UK standard of cold is very different from the Pennsylvania standard of cold
31. Then again British people just love to complain about the weather so it’s hard to tell
32. Not having to tip makes you feel like you’re spending less money so you justify buying more then you end up spending the same amount
33. Students’ unions should be a model that US higher education adopts
34. This probably goes without saying, but if you ever spend time in England, invest in a good raincoat
35. UK spelling looks nicer than US spelling
36. The concept of home is ever changing – and it’s not always where you live or where you’re from
37. Researching violence against a community you belong to will never get any easier
38. But it will always get more rewarding (at least I hope this trend continues)

39. Walks along a pebble beach are much nicer than a sand beach because you don’t have to wash off your feet afterwards
40. You shouldn’t stay in your comfort zone your entire life
41. But once in a while going back to it is needed
42. Something about a duvet is much more cosy than a comforter
43. Riding the bus, while inconvenient in some ways, is sometimes nicer than driving because you can just let your mind wander, catch up reading, close your eyes and relax, etc.
44. If you can stick to it, Duolingo is pretty cool
45. Being a responsible adult is stressful
46. When you study violence, a healthy dose of cynicism or apathy is sometimes necessary to muddle through the heaviness of the topic
47. One the flip side, you can’t let yourself forget how real that violence is
48. Karaoke is fun no matter where you are
49. UK Christmas parties are far superior to US Christmas parties
50. Christmas crackers need to be a thing in the US
51. Overseas shipping + customs = total nightmare

52. A good cuppa can make almost everything better
53. Adjusting to a new grading scale is strange
54. It’s easy to clump with people who are similar to you but that doesn’t mean you should
55. Living right next to the English Channel and letting the waves lull you to sleep every night is the most surreal thing that could happen
56. You should never spend time writing a paper that doesn’t teach you something valuable in the process
57. Don’t compromise your values
58. Brighton seems to treat homeless people better than anywhere in the US I’ve seen, which is saying something because it’s still crap
59. Just when you think you have your stance on religion all figured out, something will always make you second guess yourself
60. Gmail will forever be BAE
61. Outlook is awful
62. Exceptionalism is a bunch of bullshit, but it’s so easy to be trapped into
63. Between Guy Fawkes Day and Burning of the Clocks, Brighton seems to really like fire
64. Learning to love yourself is important because you’ll always be you in your life
65. Dryers are a luxury that the US takes for granted
66. Everyone should read Johan Galtung  
67. Comparing yourself to others is a waste of time unless you can use it as friendly, effective motivation
68. We too often take for granted the value of friendship
69. Amazon Prime is wonderfully dangerous  
70. Mentors who go out of their way to support you should be cherished
71. Sometimes you have to make a few bad decisions before you figure shit out  
72. It’s okay to take risks   
73. Social media is simultaneously a waste of time and the most amazing thing to ever be invented
74. Traveling while trans is scary
75. Anywhere you go you can find people who will make you feel welcomed, you sometimes just have to take the first step
76. No matter what you do, someone is going to disagree with you so don’t waste time trying to please everyone
77. Letting go is hard but necessary
78. You’ll always have to do things you don’t want to do
79. At the same time, be willing to listen and learn from people with differing values (unless they are just a jackass)
80. Holidays away from family will always be weird, but merging and recreating traditions with friends is a beautiful thing
81. Vulnerability is scary as hell
82. Everyone, introverts and extroverts alike, should learn how to enjoy time alone
83. Music is transformative  
84. Having a regular sleep schedule will do wonders for your productivity
85. The desire to procrastinate is just as bad in grad school as undergrad
86. People not cleaning their dishes is a universal problem

87. UK students are up in arms over tuition increases, bringing the undergraduate UK/EU student fees at Sussex to £9,250 ($11,492), meanwhile many US students have been paying over $50,000 (£40,251) for years – the US needs to do much much better, so does the UK
88. Language is powerful and expanding your vocabulary is beautiful way to unleash that power
89. Patience gets easierthe older you get, but it’ll always suck just as much
90. It’s important to remember everything and everyone that shaped your life
91. Every decision you make will mean you miss out on something else, so don’t waste time being upset over what you didn’t decide, just embrace what you did decide
92. The writing process is never over
93. There’s never only two sides to a story
94. We need to care more about the environment  
95. The world is more fucked up than any of us realise
96. Hope is necessary but when you need it the most is when it’s typically the hardest
97. Anything can happen
98. Bookmarking thesaurus.com can seriously benefit your writing
99. You’re stronger than you know
100. 2016 needs to be over already