Study Abroad: The End.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I hate endings.

I really should have discovered this earlier. I’m sad and melancholy every New Years Eve and I cried for four hours straight when my second year of university ended.

I finally understand why my dog paces and pants when something drastic changes at home.

I’m not expelling air from my mouth at a rapid rate but I am feeling the need to pace up and down. I’m so close to sitting in my roommates suitcase so they can’t leave. (I’m really not but you get the picture – maybe I’ll sit in my own suitcase so I can’t leave?)

Somehow leaving my year abroad feels a lot more scary than arriving.

This morning my roommate left so her side of the room is completely bare and I just took down all my photographs. Soon it will look like we weren’t here at all.

I keep thinking back to the first day I moved in and I just quite can’t comprehend how quickly the year has gone.

My stomach is in knots and I just want the black hole that’s forming in there to swallow me up already. It would make it a lot easier.

I have two days left in Wilkes and I can’t get rid of the weird feeling that comes from the fact I’ll never walk these streets again. For ten months my life was based on one block in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. I spent my time here in four different buildings that I’ll never see again.

Sure, I’ll come back to America again but I highly doubt I’ll come back to North Eastern Pennsylvania. This country is so big and diverse, I want to explore it.

Another part of this awful feeling I’m carrying around might have to do with the fact I’m horrifically sentimental and feel so attached really easily. People keep joking that I should stay in Wilkes and a part of me wishes I could even though I know I don’t want that.

Having friends across the world sounds pretty cool but it’s awful when you have to say goodbye after spending pretty much everyday together for ten months. My friends were pretty much all I had here and now I’m supposed to leave?

I do want to go home. I want to see my family, my dog and my friends. I’m excited to have my own room again and I’m looking forward to studying in Birmingham – I have so many things waiting for me there.

The end of my year abroad means I have to face reality. All year I’ve been joking that I ran away to another country to avoid graduation. It wasn’t true, but this year has made me more prepared and more willing to graduate. I’ve even starting looking at post grad courses and it doesn’t freak me out.

I keep thinking about what I’ve achieved here, in this small city with nothing much to do, so here are a few things I’ll miss:

  •  Every single friend. The past week has been full of planning events to say goodbye or even people coming up to me to say farewell. It’s kind of awful and I don’t like it.
  • The Beacon. I’ve become such a better journalist this year. I’m not entirely sure if it’s because The Beacon is so small or because I actually took a journalism class. I made most of my friends through the paper and I’ll miss it a lot.
  • Chorus. Turns out if you sing every week for 3 hours your voice get’s a lot better, who knew?
  • The cafeteria. The food was awful and I lived on salad, cereal and pasta. But being extremely nostalgic and sentimental I’m going to miss that building I went to everyday because I was forced to be there.
  • No responsibility. Turns out, if you’re only here for a year you aren’t given any big responsibility and people accept that you’ll just turn up and exist.
  • The work. So American College is ridiculously easy? I can’t speak for every single college but coming from the UK university system to the US was a lot easier than I intended. I’m in for a huge shock next semester, oh boy.
  • My apartment: I’m going to be honest, if I was left alone here for more than 24 hours I became pretty miserable and unhappy but these rooms were my home whether I liked it or not. I keep looking out the window and feeling sad because I’ll never see the awful view anymore so I guess a part of me must miss it.

Ultimately, everything ends at some point. This time next year my entire degree will be over and then the true existential crisis will set in.

If anyone offered me the chance to relive my year abroad again, I would. Very few people seem to actually like it here, but I did.

Sometimes the people are enough to make an experience worthwhile, so here’s a thank you to my all friends who made Wilkes feel like my home for 10 months. I’ll miss all of you.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. bibbywant says:

    Brilliant piece, as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel says:

    I certainly agree the US uni is so much easier. As an American coming to the UK to study, I miss the ease of work over there too!

    Rachel || anotherstationanothermile.com

    Like

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