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Young and confused Londoner looking for advice

Young and confused Londoner looking for advice

Old Jul 27th 2014, 3:18 am
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Default Young and confused Londoner looking for advice

Firstly, I was not sure where to post this, as I am asking some quite general questions, whereas the forums are quite specific.

In two years I will become a university graduate and will be facing some rather difficult questions about where and how I will continue my life. I have decided that I would rather start thinking about this early, so that I can seek all the relevant advice and come out of my graduation ceremony with a clear idea of what I would like for the future.

The main motivator for my seeking advice on this forum is that, despite having grown up in London, I have become somewhat disillusioned with what the city can offer me in the future. My reasons for this are thus:
  • Housing: rents are very high and dwellings are small. Buying is almost completely out of the question.
  • Pollution: I love walking around and most places I can't walk to, I will cycle. I have no aspirations of ever owning a car, and have quite strong views against their presence in the city centre. The resulting traffic, noise and pollution make me feel sick inside every time I have to navigate the treacherous London roads. Sure, there are some very nice parks to get away from it all, but it would be a futile undertaking to attempt to avoid the rest of the city.
  • Fun: I have never willingly gone shopping on the high street, and as a result, much of London is completely disinteresting to me. Ditto nightclubs. Sure, there is something for almost everyone in London, but much of what London has to offer is completely lost on me. My idea of fun is relaxing with friends over a couple of drinks, or going mountain biking, or even going for a solitary walk whilst listening to some good music.
  • Politics: I do not like the direction the UK is heading in, nor the political rhetoric. Policies are implemented not on the basis of what is best for the people or what is most democratic, but on the basis of what industrial lobby groups are demanding. I realise that this is the same almost everywhere, but there are probably few societies as politically disengaged and numb as the UK.
  • The general impression I have of London is that it is more of a playground for the rich than a liveable city for the aspiring.
For the above reasons, coupled with not wanting to stay in my parents' home after I graduate, I am considering moving out of London, and I am not afraid to consider cities all around the world. At the same time, I am not all too eager to give up all the conveniences of a big city - I should be careful not to set aside good transport links to the rest of the world, and cultural things like varied food, music and theatre.

Obviously I am still to work out many things about my future, but what people on this forum might be able to help with is giving me differing perspectives on what it is like to settle in different cities around the world. Perhaps someone will even argue that I am better off sticking it out in London for a couple of years before making such a move (the grass is always greener)...

N.B. If it helps, I am 19 and male, I speak enough French and Russian to get around, and I am studying for a BA in Mathematics at Cambridge.
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Old Jul 27th 2014, 3:26 am
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Default Re: Young and confused Londoner looking for advice

Hi and welcome.


BE has forums covering most countries. As this forum is for introductions only...I suggested you take a look at them and post your questions in whichever country/countries you are interested in.

British Expat Discussion Forum

Good luck.
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Old Jul 27th 2014, 3:27 am
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Default Re: Young and confused Londoner looking for advice

Originally Posted by alexcahill
Firstly, I was not sure where to post this, as I am asking some quite general questions, whereas the forums are quite specific.

In two years I will become a university graduate and will be facing some rather difficult questions about where and how I will continue my life. I have decided that I would rather start thinking about this early, so that I can seek all the relevant advice and come out of my graduation ceremony with a clear idea of what I would like for the future.

The main motivator for my seeking advice on this forum is that, despite having grown up in London, I have become somewhat disillusioned with what the city can offer me in the future. My reasons for this are thus:
  • Housing: rents are very high and dwellings are small. Buying is almost completely out of the question.
  • Pollution: I love walking around and most places I can't walk to, I will cycle. I have no aspirations of ever owning a car, and have quite strong views against their presence in the city centre. The resulting traffic, noise and pollution make me feel sick inside every time I have to navigate the treacherous London roads. Sure, there are some very nice parks to get away from it all, but it would be a futile undertaking to attempt to avoid the rest of the city.
  • Fun: I have never willingly gone shopping on the high street, and as a result, much of London is completely disinteresting to me. Ditto nightclubs. Sure, there is something for almost everyone in London, but much of what London has to offer is completely lost on me. My idea of fun is relaxing with friends over a couple of drinks, or going mountain biking, or even going for a solitary walk whilst listening to some good music.
  • Politics: I do not like the direction the UK is heading in, nor the political rhetoric. Policies are implemented not on the basis of what is best for the people or what is most democratic, but on the basis of what industrial lobby groups are demanding. I realise that this is the same almost everywhere, but there are probably few societies as politically disengaged and numb as the UK.
  • The general impression I have of London is that it is more of a playground for the rich than a liveable city for the aspiring.
For the above reasons, coupled with not wanting to stay in my parents' home after I graduate, I am considering moving out of London, and I am not afraid to consider cities all around the world. At the same time, I am not all too eager to give up all the conveniences of a big city - I should be careful not to set aside good transport links to the rest of the world, and cultural things like varied food, music and theatre.

Obviously I am still to work out many things about my future, but what people on this forum might be able to help with is giving me differing perspectives on what it is like to settle in different cities around the world. Perhaps someone will even argue that I am better off sticking it out in London for a couple of years before making such a move (the grass is always greener)...

N.B. If it helps, I am 19 and male, I speak enough French and Russian to get around, and I am studying for a BA in Mathematics at Cambridge.
Hi Alex and welcome to BE - up late or up early?

I'm all for future planning, but as you have 2 years left at Uni, your whole world could change in that time so future plans may go out the window. However, as a young person you would be able to get working holiays in some countries, as a British citizen you can move freely in Europe as well as anywhere within the UK, and although London does not appeal to you, there are many other areas to explore. The biggest factor will likely be finding suitable employment that will allow you to support yourself - what are you planning to do with the Maths degree workwise?
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Old Jul 27th 2014, 3:51 am
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Default Re: Young and confused Londoner looking for advice

Originally Posted by old.sparkles
Hi Alex and welcome to BE - up late or up early?

I'm all for future planning, but as you have 2 years left at Uni, your whole world could change in that time so future plans may go out the window. However, as a young person you would be able to get working holiays in some countries, as a British citizen you can move freely in Europe as well as anywhere within the UK, and although London does not appeal to you, there are many other areas to explore. The biggest factor will likely be finding suitable employment that will allow you to support yourself - what are you planning to do with the Maths degree workwise?
Hi! Up surprisingly later than I had realised! Yourself?

You're right. All sorts could happen from changing family circumstances to irresistible job offers. At the moment I am keeping my options open and trying to consider all possible options. I will not go into details here but I had an internship lined up for the summer in a non-EU country which unfortunately got cancelled at a late stage due to non-aligning laws and regulations. So now I am bored and up at almost five in the morning. It does seem sensible to find something in the EU for next year so that the same doesn't happen.

The thing about my degree is that there is no obvious career path associated with it. There seem to be lots of jobs of the sort <solve difficult problem by programming suitable mathematical model>, which I would probably prefer, but equally I could potentially do something completely unrelated to mathematics. The main sectors that hire Cambridge Maths grads are IT, Banking, Engineering, Insurance, Consultancy and miscellaneous financial firms.
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Old Jul 27th 2014, 4:02 am
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Default Re: Young and confused Londoner looking for advice

Originally Posted by alexcahill
Hi! Up surprisingly later than I had realised! Yourself?

You're right. All sorts could happen from changing family circumstances to irresistible job offers. At the moment I am keeping my options open and trying to consider all possible options. I will not go into details here but I had an internship lined up for the summer in a non-EU country which unfortunately got cancelled at a late stage due to non-aligning laws and regulations. So now I am bored and up at almost five in the morning. It does seem sensible to find something in the EU for next year so that the same doesn't happen.

The thing about my degree is that there is no obvious career path associated with it. There seem to be lots of jobs of the sort <solve difficult problem by programming suitable mathematical model>, which I would probably prefer, but equally I could potentially do something completely unrelated to mathematics. The main sectors that hire Cambridge Maths grads are IT, Banking, Engineering, Insurance, Consultancy and miscellaneous financial firms.
It's lunchtime here in Australia

As the options as a maths grad are varied, do you have any additional interests to point you in a direction? What work experiences have you had so far that have been either positive or negative to rule in or out options?
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Old Jul 27th 2014, 4:37 am
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Default Re: Young and confused Londoner looking for advice

Are there opportunities for internships or study abroad on your course?

It's only natural to want to get away from your home town, but then again it's a trade-off of convenience and culture against cost of living in most places. Politics is going to be pretty similar everywhere.

For walkable cities and cycling, maybe places like The Netherlands, Scandinavia?

Working holiday visas have been mentioned, with Australia as a popular destination.

It's good to plan ahead, but also enjoy your undergraduate years, studying at Cambridge must be exciting.
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Old Aug 2nd 2014, 4:35 pm
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Default Re: Young and confused Londoner looking for advice

Hello and a big welcome to BE.

Excellent information can be found in the BE Wiki, not forgetting the Living and Moving Abroad forum that will help you, another set of great help is the permanent threads at the TOP of each forum, they are very pertinent to that particular forum and makes sensible reading.

Moderators deal with any problems that arise such as inappropriate posts, spammers etc, you will find their names at the bottom right hand side of each forum's index in bold font.

Please contact me if I can give you any further help.

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