From URL to IRL

It’s Saturday 22nd of October and I can finally say, I’ve officially survived my very first day at SCA (in real life).

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been tuning in from Amsterdam as an online student. As of yesterday, I was finally able to move across the pond to experience life as Brixton honey. I’m buzzing to be here!

Although I’m so grateful that there was even an option to start my journey online, there were a couple things I felt like I was missing out on. One of them being Brixton life’s human interaction. (yes, I’ll be honest, I was suffering from a bit of FOMO)

And although I had done two years online during COVID, something about doing the first couple weeks of SCA online felt completely different. I felt more disconnected than I did the years before.

As someone who is naturally a little bit more reserved, and absolutely terrified to stand up and speak to a crowd of unfamiliar faces… When I was online, I felt like I was standing on a stage with a spot light shining so bright that I wasn’t able to see anyone sitting out in front of me.

“Just imagine the audience in their underwear” just didn’t cut it. And to be honest, no offense but I’d rather not have that mental image… (With Pip maybe being the exception)

Although online life had it’s perks: like waking up a little later than everyone else, making my coffee more frequently than others, or being able to do my own thing as soon as SCA’s sessions ended not having to think about extra travel time, I was counting down the days until I could step away from my rectangular shaped box, and experience all the creativity in 4D.

And so a month later, the day had finally come, I was finally going to be able to experience a day at SCA as a Brixton babe. So Friday morning served itself with a 0530 wake up, a 1h45 commute and 3 coffees later and I couldn’t have had a warmer welcome. Walking up to the gates of Pop Brixton with a group of honeys waiting for my arrival. Even though my heart was going about 100 miles an hour and I felt like a little girl experiencing her first day of school again, the moment I walked in, every bit of doubt and anxiety got left at the door. I was in the right place.

So did it meet my expectations? For sure.
Is everyone just as weird as they came across online? Absolutely.
Did online portray people’s personalities even the ones that barely spoke? Funny enough, yes.
Were people any different than you were expecting? Ehmm, some were taller?

But here’s the funny thing. I had made so many expectations in my head, and truly believed things were going to be so much different one I got to London, but it honestly wasn’t THAT different. Some things were definitely a little better (sorry online students) but overall, there were so many negatives that I had made so much bigger in my mind. As soon as I was sitting in my uncomfortable grey chair, looking at the screen of fellow online students, I realised that so many of the things I was doubting and afraid of when I was in that same position, were just things that I had made up in my mind.

So for anyone else tuning in online, here are some things I wish I realised when I was online in Amsterdam

1) Your face really isn’t as big on the screen as you may think it is
2) You shouldn’t be afraid to speak your mind, it’s really not that scary, no one is judging you (at least not any more than they would if you were here in real life)
3) There’s a bit of a connection lag, so when the whole room is silent right after you share an idea…don’t worry they’re probably just still listening to what you’re saying
4) Life is only as much as you make of it. The mentors are here just as much as for everyone else, and you should make use of them! That’s one thing I wish I had done more of, it would have made those four weeks a hell of a lot easier.
5) Brixton hasn’t forgotten about you, but just like no one can read what your mind in real life, if you don’t communicate what you’re thinking or feeling, no one is gonna know!
6) Enjoy those extra few minutes of sleep in the morning, enjoy your quite space to work because let me tell you, when Brixton honey’s are feeling stressed and crunching for a deadline, you can feel that radiated through every wall in the building, everyone is on edge.
7) Things are only as good as your mindset, all those anxious thoughts about missing out, are all in your head… all you have to remember is to reach out to people and get to them on a personal level even if it’s just through the phone. There’s a reason people last through online dating, and at least here you don’t have to worry about catfishes.
8) You belong just as much as everyone else, put your name out there.

I’m happy to be here, but also happy to have had the experience because at least this way I’ll know how to possibly make some experiences for online peeps a little better. From URL to IRL, and it’s only the beginning!


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