Hi again, I’m back, and since my last blog, I have now settled into London and started working towards my degree. Moving to London was a daunting task, but after many tearful goodbyes and thanks to the help of my mum and a few large suitcases, I eventually made it to the big smoke! Having travelled by train I arrived into Kings Cross and after dodging the many commuters and Harry Potter fans my accommodation was only a short walk away (in our case a taxi journey – gyms being closed did nothing for my ability to carry such heavy suitcases). I arrived in London around a month before my course started so I had plenty of time to settle in and find my feet in my new city.
Finding accommodation in London will naturally worry most students. While rent in London is generally very expensive, there is lots of choice and if you search enough you are bound to find something that suits your needs. I’m lucky enough to have secured a job as a Resident Advisor with the University of London in student halls. This means that my rent is massively subsidised and is now extremely affordable despite living in such a central location. Living in Bloomsbury is extremely convenient for most university campuses in London. I am a 5 minute walk from most UCL buildings and only a 2 minute walk from Queen’s Square where I will be studying this year. I couldn’t have asked for a better location and the relative peace that comes with Bloomsbury is a blessing in such a busy city.
I have tried to explore as much of London as possible during my time here so far but as it turns out, there is a LOT to see! I think that’s one of the best things about London – there is always something to do or see and there is something to fit everyone’s interests. Living in the city during a global pandemic is not the London that most people will be used to, but having moved from Glasgow, much smaller and quieter, it has definitely helped the transition. I’m looking forward to seeing London at its best once restrictions ease and life takes on a new sense of “normal”, but for now the peace is okay with me.
Of course, it hasn’t all been easy. As with any move there was lots of life admin to sort out, doctors and dentists to register with, and for a while google maps was my best friend every time I left my accommodation. I also struggled with homesickness at first. Being so close with my family I knew I would struggle to say goodbye and that living so far away would take some getting used to, but having spent months together during lockdown, this move was even harder. Thankfully, I met some lovely people in London and have kept myself busy enough that I eventually got used to the 450 mile distance from home. Now that my course has started and I am busy working away, it has definitely become easier.
So far, London has been better than expected considering I have moved at the beginning of a significant second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am surrounded by green space, I have lovely friends and I am finally starting as a student on my dream Masters degree. I am very thankful to be here and I cannot wait to see what the rest of my year has in store for me.
Stay safe and be sure to tune in to my blog next month where I’ll be talking about finally getting started on the MSc Dementia (Neuroscience) course. I will also be doing a twitter takeover on the 20th of October to show you what a day in the life of a Masters student looks like at UCL so please check it out and feel free to ask any questions over twitter on the day!
Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you on the next blog,
Morgan Daniel  is an MSc Student at University College London, studying the along the ‘Dementia: Causes, Treatments and Research (Neuroscience)’ track, Originally from Loch Lomond, Morgan completed her BSc in Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow in 2019, and she hates all forms of potato! Morgan is sharing her MSc journey during 2020 / 2021 with NIHR Dementia Researcher.
Over the next 12 months, NIHR Dementia Researcher is following Morgan Daniel  as she studies for her Dementia MSc at University College London . Morgan will be blogging, podcasting and occasionally taking over our twitter feed to share news from her studies and life, documenting the hi’s and lows’, with tips for others who are considering post-graduate studies.