Here it is! Finally, a chance for renewal; beautiful, blank January. My opportunity to fulfil the initial promise I made myself four months ago to be a fully functioning and productive student, existing entirely in Franklin Covey’s first quadrant and most certainly not hiding in my room for days avoiding the cold and money grabbing ways of the big, and now mostly dark city. Alas, the likelihood of me changing my ways is slim. Habits are a lot harder to break than just giving yourself a good speaking to. I have, however, in the past month, managed to switch up my sleeping pattern from deathly late nights and waking up to sombre sunsets, to tucked up by midnight and at the gym for nine thirty. It is mental how much of a wonder it has been for morale. Although that’s certainly not to say that I’m dedicating any more time to my studies.
Early mornings do mean walking through the quintessentially English crispy, frost bitten grass and appreciate the intense biting chill of the glorious winter sun. It’s not so bad this cold; it reminds you that you’re actually alive, and that your face is in blistering agony. When you are significantly drunk and beginning to slip into the semi-comatose phase, it proves a very welcomed slap in the face, allowing you to stagger to the bus stop and endure the forty-five minute night bus of eternal damnation.
During a most recent trip home from the joyous pre-Christmas Oxford Street shopping dash, I had the pleasure of sitting one seat in front of a complete mad man on the ever-faithful 453 to Deptford Bridge. After threatening his girlfriend and children over the phone for the entire duration of the route down Old Kent Road, he proceeded to curse death upon every innocent public transport taker that walked past him down the top deck isle. Only then did it start to sink in that the risk of becoming just another London Evening Standard statistic is very real. Which reminds me, avoid following LES on any social media platform, unless you wish to be routinely reminded of the very serious crime problem that London faces.
My biggest issue with dedication and motivation these days (other than my stiflingly lazy innate demeanour) is being very easily distracted. I’ve spent the past few weeks living in a dystopic world of rolling industrial beats and quivering LED lights that gnaw right through your organs and into your inner most being. Having been a passionate electronic music fan for a few years now, I’ve just now discovered that apparently, London is somewhere at pinnacle of the underground techno scene, outside of Berlin and seasonal Ibiza perhaps. The culture can so easily reel you in and make it impossible for you to leave, particularly, when you have equally as eager llanito techno fanatics stood by your side the entire time. It seems I’ve found myself a delightfully familiar group of llanito pals to coexist with in the big, bad city, and I never thought I’d be so delighted by it. As much as I have tried to find common ground with the pastel haired Marxists of Goldsmith’s, it seems I’m better off sticking to what I know best; loud and overbearing Mediterraneans, with their over excitable nature and blatant dismissal of the awkward, cold politeness of Londoners. These huge warehouse events draw in droves of London dwelling Spaniards and Italians who contribute massively to the warm welcoming aura of the roaring techno underbelly of the city.
Now, the Christmas period has not been entirely made up of hedonistic frivolity. Trying to edge my way into writing for big city publications is proving a lengthy and disheartening process. Having attended multiple cross-university workshops on media and where the future is heading, I have been advised to sign myself up for as many free events and social gatherings as possible in order to network myself into a stupor. This was a hurdle I’d masterfully overcome back home, after building up a solid reserve of cross community contacts in our humble media circle. Also, in the first couple of years of my media career, the novelty of free booze at receptions was still fresh, and it is wholeheartedly easier to make people like you when you are almost always two drinks in. I am not naïve enough to think, by any stretch of the imagination, that finding my feet in the journalistic universe of London will be on the same spectrum as my former experience.
Gibraltar was a tough rock to crack. When we first brought YGTV to fruition, doors were constantly closed in our faces, and the former local media model of the two most prominent news institutions on the Rock was all there was room for, for a long time. It was thanks to the persistence and sheer over arrogance of the higher echelons of the website that helped us move into the light. Whilst I am itching to unleash my magnificence on the British public, I am incredibly baffled about where to even start. So I’ve signed myself up to every free lecture/ discussion/ workshop/ conversation with Nick Clegg that the internet has offered to me. It was in a self-made real-estate mogul’s confidence boosting, ‘find your own path’ book that I once read that persistence, bordering on well-intended stalking, is the most assuring way of securing an entry into your industry of choice. Whilst I am not about to set up camp outside Nick Robinson’s house, I can appreciate the effort to feed me the motivation I am somehow lacking. It’s all about finding the confidence in yourself to sell your personality and ability to everyone and anyone you might meet at any such schmooze fest. If that’s a struggle, then there is always our favourite Franklin Covey fall-back ‘fake it until you make it’.
And so here I sit, emailing up a frenzy, pouring my heart out to unwitting electronic music magazines, pleading them to help a poor lowly journo out with some work. Amidst all of this, it’s starting to dawn on me that I’m very much starting to develop a sense of self-awareness. Apparently, you can survive in the big city, without the pushy aid of your overbearing Gibraltarian parents. With the New Year comes the acceptance of a new status, just another starry-eyed student in this dizzying metropolis.
words | Nicole Macedo