After the initial surge of happiness, I started to feel pretty sad about leaving my friends. All of the kids who studied in London agreed that it was the best time of our lives and we have made closer friends there than we have at school or at home; as the days went on, we Skyped each other and texted, but it was not comparable to living next door. After meeting the students who studied in London, there was a definite disconnect with my friends from home. I was hopeful that we would pick up where we left off right away, but the transition was rougher than I had anticipated. I matured a lot while I was away, and it was hard to get used to the lifestyle my friends live.
I have started my final semester at Butler, and it is definitely different than the U.K. I had forgotten how demanding American University is, and have had a hard time adjusting to the workload. The hardest part is transitioning back into the social sphere. I have been away from school for a whole year, first to move to New Jersey for an internship, then to study in London. I started to feel really isolated because I could not share my experiences, and my friends all had spent the past year together creating memories that I was not a part of. I also really miss the freedom and activity that London provides. We had the chance to explore whatever we wished, but the options are rather limited in Indianapolis. I have the “travel bug” in hopes of seeing the world again as I did while abroad. Some of the students from London and I have discussed a reunion, and some loose plans have been made. So far, the transition into this semester has been much more difficult than I anticipated, but I am viewing it as a time to cherish my friends and family and rekindle old friendships. This is the time that will strengthen long-time friendships and will prepare me to begin a career in Rhode Island this summer. Overall, I would not have changed a single thing about the study abroad experience. I am so blessed to have met wonderful people, traveled the world, and gained insight on different cultures; I would do it again in a heartbeat.