My #SummerUnfiltered at The Mix

Raya spent six weeks interning with the communications team at The Mix. Here she shares what it was like to leave her home state of Minnesota in the USA, to live and work in London.

The Mix Staff

I thought Brits ate fish and chips religiously 

I wish I could say I came to the UK without any preconceived notions about London life. However, if I’m being honest, I thought that I’d be living for six weeks in a rainy, glum city full of telephone booths and British people religiously eating fish and chips. But it didn’t take me long to realise that finding a telephone booth is like playing ‘Where’s Waldo?’, British people make up less than half of London’s population, and the most popular dish here is actually chicken tikka masala. Oh, and as for the weather? I’ve seen less rain and more sunshine in London than I do during a typical summer in my home state of Minnesota.

I discovered London’s hustle and bustle via the tube

I was astonished by how easy it is to navigate London using the Underground system! The size of London, and the many different train lines, made me really nervous. I found that the Underground is actually really easy to use, and I’ve enjoyed taking the tube in the mornings – which is especially surprising as I’m not a morning person!

The Mix is a relaxed place to work

I expected that I’d have to come into work looking smart in trouser suits, skirts or blazers. Instead, I was told to wear whatever I am comfortable in. For me, that meant wearing leggings and a hoodie some days, or jeans and a nice blouse other days. I had also envisioned working in a typical office, with boring white walls and separated desks. Instead, I was fortunate enough to work in a cosy office with couches, bean bags, graphics plastered on the walls and music usually playing in the background.

I’ve gained an insight into different roles

Through my time at The Mix, however, I’ve gained invaluable skills. Although my official title has been the multimedia intern, I’ve been able to dabble in various areas of the communications department, including PR, marketing and editorial content. During my very first week of work, I was even able to listen in on The Mix’s helpline. That experience alone made me realise the variety of issues young people face. Being a young person myself, it’s been all the more rewarding to contribute to an organisation that wants to help people just like myself.

At times I felt out of my depth…

I’ve worked on various multimedia projects, used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit interviews, and written a script for one of The Mix’s short films. I also helped research various topics for future campaigns and contributed to ways for us to reach and engage with our audience more effectively. Adjusting to a new country and way of life is difficult on its own, but adding in work and studies was an even bigger challenge.

My summer wasn’t ideal, but it was mine

During my trip I fell ill which was definitely not how I envisioned spending my time in one of the most global cities in the world! I eventually got better and learnt that some things are out of my control. I realised that my resilience and levels of self-endurance are extremely high, and I was able to deal with a lot of change and new challenges. Once I realised how much I had experienced, it was easier to accept that my summer in London hadn’t turned out exactly how I planned. And that’s okay.

Things aren’t always as they seem

I still loved my experiences of living and working in London. As it turns out, my summer fits in with The Mix’s upcoming campaign, which is all about embracing the reality of your experiences and looking beyond the ‘picture perfect’ scene we see on social media. Summer is different for everyone. It’s a time to explore, try new things, experiment and have fun. But it’s also a time to celebrate all the different ways of being. After my time spent at The Mix, I want other young people to discover a #SummerUnfiltered by living the summer they want, and not the one others expect them to.

The Mix’s phone line is no longer available, but you can email us or chat one-to-one online 4pm-11pm Monday to Friday, speak to our online communitysign up for free counselling online or text text THEMIX to 85258 to access our 24/7 crisis line. 


Published on 12-Jul-2018