Live Country Music

Back in Canada my friends and I all listen to country music, but here in England not many people appreciate Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton as much as they should. I was super surprised when I saw one of my favourite Canadian country bands was going to be playing in Birmingham and I knew I had to get at least one of my friends on the country music bandwagon. After our lectures were finished during the day (since I am here for school after all) my friend and I set off to Birmingham to see High Valley at the O2 institute. The band was doing a European tour with stops in London, Amsterdam, and Glasgow as well. At first when I checked the ticket prices I was a bit confused because they were only 11 pounds, but my inner student kicked in and realized that was more money I could save for next weeks grocery shop, since there was no way I was missing this show!

We ended up getting to take pictures with the band in a before show meet and greet, which was basically us standing in a room with 5 other people from North America. It was definitely a different vibe than I was expecting, but after getting photos, autographs, and snapchats I wasn’t complaining. It was cool to see how far everyone had traveled from just to see this show, and it made me realize there are lots of other students out there in the exact same boat as I am. We shared stories about what we were doing in England, how long we were staying for, and how we all managed to see High Valley for less than 20 bucks.

This week marks 6 months that I’ve been living in England and before seeing the concert I was definitely feeling a little bit disconnected from home. Standing in the concert hall belting out the words to the songs I knew all too well though, was the exact reminder that I needed. Yes I am about 4000 miles away from home, but I run into things everyday that bring me right back. So I can tell you that after that weekend I was able to successfully convert my friend Louise into a country fan so now when we both think of home, maybe our idea of it wont feel so different!

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Coping with change

As my last post was on friends I thought it would be a good idea to talk about change. Coming to uni can be very hard and if, like I said before, you still haven’t quite got the hang of things yet it can be hard.

Dealing with anxiety, homesickness, stress… are all natural when encountering new stages, and/or situations in your life. So again, here a few tips that may help:

  1. Accept that change will affect you, your emotions might be unstable and it might take a while to settle down. The sooner you’ve accepted this the easier it is to get back on your feet.
  2. Good and bad changes affect us in a way that we may grieve in both situations as we are losing an old way of being or a set of circumstances.
  3. Don’t resist the change that you’re facing, go with the flow, this may help you adapt more easily.
  4. Try and keep a routine, at uni this sentence is heard and said nearly 4 times a day and it is very difficult as each day of every week is different. Also being independent means you have to make time for washing, cooking, eating, cleaning… but, it’s still a good idea to try and have a routine and stick to it as much as possible. This will allow you to have a sense of daily purpose and of knowing what you’re doing when.
  5. One of the key factors is to share, don’t suffer alone or in silence. There is always someone there for you. But, don’t make it all about how upset or anxious you are try having a laugh or a good time. That will also help with the making friends part.
  6. Break it down, tackle the bigger changes in small steps. Bit by bit and eventually you’ll get there.
  7. Every cloud has a silver lining, some changes can leave you feeling desperate, lost, worried… but each change brings new opportunities. Try and think about the future and stay focused on the positives rather than the negatives.

It won’t last forever, this last one is mostly for those who suffer a bit more. Those feeling of anxiety won’t last forever and you will adapt, probably without even realising it.