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Celebrating my 2 months in LSE – this is my highlight!

Hi all, 

I write this blog as a reminder for myself about how is it going so far here in London. But if this may benefit you as well, please let me know and I can write more about this! :)

I got accepted at LSE, on April 2016. I can recall my feelings when I received the acceptance email from LSE in the middle of executive meeting in my office. Even though the meeting was tough, I can't stop smiling until the end of the day. Still in the same year, on September 2016, I got my desired scholarship from from LPDP (Indonesia Endownment Fund). I aim to get this scholarship from 2014, but just have a chance and courage to try it on 2016. 

I enter this institution (LSE) with the high expectation to improve myself and “consumed” all the knowledge they can offer me as much as possible and as clear as possible. 

At first, in the welcome week (orientation week for new students), I feel it very encouraging. The explanation of the study system is really good, the facility is uber good, the friends are very warm and inspiring, and it feels like they provide you a super nice laboratory you can use to crunch your idea, test it, and introduce it - wow, I felt I am going to love academic field! 

Then it comes to the first week
I really found myself overwhelmed with the readings and lectures. Imagine, you have to read normally 5 academic journals for 1 course. FYI, I have 3 course in this term, this means that I need to at least understand 15 academic journals for 1 week. 

I stayed up until midnite, sometimes until 3 am to read my reading – and understand it of course. Preparing for tomorrow’s seminar (class discussion), and prepare for the lecture to get the idea about what will the lecturer say. And it is resulting insomnia for me! This is the first time I experienced insomnia. I always stay awake until 2 am or 3 am and I get up at 8 am.

Trust me, the first week going to be very tough. 

You are forced to stay awake and leave your comfort zone. You need to keep up with the readings, peer-pressure, and adapting with the new life. When I finished my first week, I am so grateful. I feel like my burden is gone. But, it just the beginning! The struggle is not over yet, dear. 

I keep change my study strategy, week by week.
I set my study goals, set the plan how to achieve that, and see the result, and evaluate it, every week, trial and error. For example, I do the reading summary on Friday for the next week, prepare for the seminar before the day, etc. Only until week 5, I feel I can continue to be consistent with my study method. Well, people method's of study may be differ from another because we have different priority, different goals, and different expectation.
For me, my study goals are: understanding the material, actively participate in the class, contribute to the group discussion, and helping myself to understand myself and my passion better for the future. 
Many roadblocks, more improvement needs
So many times I felt overwhelmed, stressed out, I cannot make it, I don’t understand the material, most of times I feel like I cannot enjoy the year in London - it was so negative! 

But, every time I found roadblocks, I realised that I need to improve something. So many improvement and homework I need to do. 

The toughest thing is when in the study group discussion, I realised that most of the time I cannot explain my reading clearly, so my friend cannot benefit from my summary. I know I need to improve. And I quite struggle to achieve that. Then, I asked help from my friend to help me figure out how to understand the reading and how to summarise it. Even though I still in the process, but I believe that I improvement show up. 

Always be grateful, finding ways to cheer-up
Well, I always post something that I like in a social media, the intention is not to show off (well, in fact, social media is a robust way to show off). Anyway, I post something that motivates me, that makes me feel better, and make me appreciate the things I have now. 

I join the society that I want to join. Such as badminton and archery. I think it will balance my academic life and less academic life. 

I gathered with friends that I comfortable with. I enjoy socializing with friends, knowing how each other doing, become inspired with what they have achieved, and also share my stories too. I don’t force myself to always be in a group – because sometimes we just need our "me time". So my point is, if you need someone to talk, just go to the people you like. If you need your "me time", just silent or airplane mode your phone! I mean, appreciate yourself, don’t create another pressure to yourself!  

Travel with friends is helping! Go find your destination and arrange the itinerary. It does not need to be expensive, but just for fun. Go exploring the city, suburban, nearest city or village and take the picture of it. Not only will relieve your stress but also will help you to fulfill your bucket list! 
Finally the most important thing is, your bond with your family is even more stronger when you are away far from home. I appreciate my mom’s advice more than anything else. I miss my brother very much, including my dogs too! I feel relieved when I communicate with them  once a week. 

Well, I can say there is nothing really special in this 2 months in terms of achievements. But a lot of experience and new things have been discovered. The most important for me is progress. Little progress will motivate you to do more achievement and keep you motivated. The motivation is what you need to maintain. I remember in one of the week's lecture. That there are many theories that explain how can we improve motivation.