Across the pond: The Lawrence Difference

Margaret Rhatican

Hello from London! This is winter term 2010’s first update to our lovely home campus, so let me first say that we hope you’re all well and making the most of winter term at LU!
We are the second group to occupy Metrogate since Lawrence’s joining with the FIE program, and we are also one of the smallest groups – nine of us – to come to the London Centre since the program began. We are having an amazing time getting to know the city as we explore the sights, the incredible – free! – museums, and London’s (slightly less free) nightlife.
We’ve also traveled away from the city – Dover, Paris, Prague and County Kerry, Ireland – and we’ve made plans for upcoming trips to Amsterdam, Athens, and 10-day trips through France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland.
While we’ve split up for some of trips, we are also traveling together, which brings me to the central point of this article.
We are blown away on a continual basis by life in London and abroad, but one of the most fantastic parts of this experience has been the bond we’ve developed as a Lawrence group.
None of us are from the same social group at Lawrence, and at best we recognized each other before leaving only due to the smallness of our school. Most of us came to London knowing – maybe – one other person in the group.
Now, however, it’s safe to say that this experience has been above and beyond all of our expectations because of the ridiculous amount of fun we’ve had together as a group. This newfound closeness isn’t only due to living in a new city together, but also because we are sharing and learning and growing with fellow Lawrentians we had never even met before.
It has been such a blast, traveling and going out and getting to know each other – people I’ve been at Lawrence with for years and had never known! It has truly been a privilege, and it only solidifies one of the most special aspects of Lawrence.
Continually expanding your friend-base and getting to know new people is one of the most rewarding experiences in college life, but one most people abandon after freshman year.
We usually label and stereotype our classmates based on who they hang out with and what they’re involved in, and we’re usually happy and comfortable with our own group of friends. But let me reiterate what this London trip has solidified for me: People at Lawrence are awesome. And that includes people you haven’t met yet.
Call it the Lawrence Difference, call it that unexpected bit of nerdiness that all of us possess – whether we hide it or not – and unite over.
Let us, a seriously random group of Lawrentians from every background and walk of life, transplanted and stuck together in a flat in London, be a testament to this crazy Lawrence Difference. Because I couldn’t be more grateful to have gotten to know these people, who I probably would’ve never met if I hadn’t come to London.
Cheers, my fellow Lawrentians, from foggy London town! We miss you, Lawrence!