I am so sorry about the delayed goodbye, maybe I just did not want to let it go. I happy to announce I am finally back in the US and at Memphis. I moved into my apartment, and I am finally getting settled in, though we do not have internet which caused this delay in my post. It is freezing here, like colder than Europe, which makes me miss England a little. I am finally in with money again thank goodness because broke did not look good on me. For the past week I’ve been home I’ve taken two very long road trips, one to Raleigh, NC and the other all the way from Charleston to Memphis. Being in my own apartment makes me feel so much older than last semester. Living in a flat with 14 people sharing 2 bathrooms and a kitchen makes you love but hate dorm life.
I miss my flat family so much though. We shared so many laughs, meals, clothes, make up (not the boys), and tears. I will never forget those days! The irony about leaving is I left with the first person I ever met in this program, Matt Roddy. We joked about meeting each other first at the airport and then we rode the bus all the way to Heathrow when we left. It was bitter sweet but really I couldn’t ask for a better person to start and end with. The one thing I did notice when I left was the fact the it felt dream like. I went from living with a lot of people to traveling with my best friends and then back to Memphis. It is still a surreal feeling that I was gone from my normal life for a semester, so you could say I’m still adjusting.
I learned a lot while I was abroad, not really in the academic sense, other than I like the American system better, but in the bigger picture kind of way. I will now share what I learned in hopes that some aspiring study abroad students find these experiences helpful.
- Stay true to yourself. If you don’t want to get into what everyone else is, don’t. But do try to get involved with your flat it is an instant group of friends.
- No one cares if you don’t drink. If you get offered drinks but don’t want them say, no. You can still have just as much fun with everyone else.
- Life is way more expensive overseas like everyone from transportation to food is probably third higher in England so plan and budget wisely but don’t forget to still have a good time.
- If you plan to travel at the end make sure you don’t travel over the holidays unless you are 100% sure. I had a great time traveling but money was very tight, you miss home (meaning your family), and you have all your stuff and if you didn’t all ready know traveling with a 52lb suitcase and then a like 8lb carry on is hard especially if you are walking and only taking public transport. (Yes right now my arms look good!)
- Your creativity will flourish because you are out of your element. I read and wrote so much while I was in England it was so refreshing. I know I will keep writing and it has a lot to do with how much I wrote overseas.
Overall I would not trade this experience. Was it perfect? No. But was it worth the all the hassle? Yes, because I can say I am a better and stronger person because of that trip. Flat four of Tawney Tower I miss you and hope your new students are as awesome as your last!!
Love Always England,