8 Hard Lessons You Need To Learn If You’re Going To Survive In London

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Big Ben and Westminster Bridge with river Thames

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and it takes a tough cookie to really nail it.

But don’t worry, we’ve got ya. Here’s eight things you’re gonna need to learn…


1. You’ll discover your feisty side and it might not be pretty.


You’ll always be in a hurry, but other people won’t necessarily share this sense of urgency. You’ll have to push and you’ll have to shove, and there’ll be plenty of opportunities to master your eye roll.

2. You will be skint. Always.


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, London is extortionate. You might not ever be financially prepared for it—seriously, you’ll never be good enough at saving your money—but after a while, you will adjust to it. And by this we mean you’ll freak out every single month and say “but I don’t understand, I didn’t even go out much this month” whilst simultaneously thinking “ah f*ck, there was that Uber ride… and that pizza delivery… and that big, drunken round of tequilas…”.

3. Your rent will eat up about 80% of your salary.


And that’s just something you’re going to have to get used to, we’re afraid.

4. 94% of your time will be spent travelling.


The “everywhere takes half an hour to get to” rule is bollocks. Never live by it. Trains will be delayed, red signals will be stopped at and people will walk realllllly slowly in front of you. Always take these things into account and add a good few minutes to your journey time.

5. We’re not saying you’ll become an alcoholic, but chances are you’ll get pretty close.


There are no rules for drinking in this city. Pretty much anything goes. Including your dignity.

6. Even when shit hits the fan, it’s important to stay positive.


London is a bloody great place to be when things go tits up. Heartbroken? London’ll fix that. Lost your job? London’ll fix that. No idea what the hell you’re doing with your life? London’ll fix that.

7. Although your life is really f*cking cool because you live in London, try not to show off about it too much. Apparently outsiders don’t like it very much.


Don’t worry though, other Londoners are totally on your page. They think you’re just as cool as they are.

8. The time you spend waiting for the tube will feel like the slowest moments of your life.


You might be used to trains only appearing every half an hour, but you’ll soon adjust to the impatient ways of London life. 3 minutes will feel like a lifetime. Download Candy Crush*, you’ll need it to entertain yourself.


*other mindless games are available.

Georgie Hoole

Georgie Hoole

Georgie is Deputy Editor at Secret London. She loves a trendy café and is all too familiar with the extortionate price of a coffee in the capital. She enjoys the finer things in life (like red wine on a school night and eating Ben and Jerry's straight from the tub) and hasn't quite grasped the concept of adulthood yet.