For You and Me
I cannot believe that I have been in Belfast for over a month now. Time is going by so quickly! It seems like just a few days ago I was plane hopping my way to Belfast City Airport, and now I have already been in classes for 3 weeks.
This blog is dedicated to the members of Ash 4, floor 1. I want to say something special about each individual because they have accepted me as a part of their family and I feel like they should all know!
Anna is the honorary mother of our floor. She is such a warm and caring person. She seems to know everything there is to know about cooking and is always willing to help you when confronted with a kitchen dilemma (I should really take some recipe tips!).
During my first couple of weeks here, Caitriona was my translator. She helped me understand some of the words and phrases that the Irish were using when I was lost. When I was sick a couple weeks ago, she made me chicken to put in my pasta! She is such a fun time and stays in Elms over the weekend with me, John, and Vicky.
When I was feeling down about a week ago, Danielle made me hot chocolate. She seems to know when something is wrong and is willing to ask me if I am alright. She studies law so we have had some deep conversations about politics (which I obviously like!)
Emma lives in the room next to me, so we can hear all the insanely drunk people coming home at 3 in the morning. It makes for some interesting stories the next day when we discuss what we heard!
John is the only other guy on our floor. He does not come around all that often, but when he does, he usually has some pretty good music playing on his phone. His friend Jonathan lives above us and comes by frequently, so we talk to him a lot.
Louise was the very first person I met on the floor. She was super excited to meet an American. Whenever she would introduce me to people, she would start off by explaining that I was an American before she even told them my name. Even after a month, she still mentions my nationality first!
Niamh is one of my closest friends on the floor. It is strange that we get along so well because we have differing opinions about almost everything. She is trying to teach me the type of sarcasm that the Irish use because I still take everything they say seriously.
Philana is such a nice and friendly person. When she comes in the kitchen/lounge, she always asks everybody how they are doing or how their day is. It really is a kind gesture and she is always a good listener!
Teresa is another person on the floor that I can talk to about politics. She is studying math but she knows so much about how economics work. Sometimes we get too excited about it and other people try to change the subject (it is probably a good thing so we do not get into more debates or disputes!)
Vicky is another person that I am really close with. She acted as a good “shoulder to cry on” when I was homesick awhile back. She has introduced me to Strictly Come Dancing (the British version of Dancing with the Stars), and I have to admit, I really enjoy watching it!
These ten individuals have opened my eyes to so many different aspects and perspectives of the world. They have helped change my opinions and have made me a better man for it. I may not thank them or show my appreciation enough, but I really do care about them. They are my family, and I cannot wait to see what these next eight months have in store for me!
Despite all the support from my family back home, and my new family at Queen’s, these past few weeks have been very stressful. I have unexpectedly fallen in love with the city of Belfast and the Irish culture that encompasses it. I began thinking about transferring to Queen’s as a full time international student instead of just studying abroad here for one year. I consulted my parents, my friends, advisers at WSU, advisers at Queen’s, and mostly myself about whether or not I wanted to spend the next 3+ years in Northern Ireland. On the upside, I love the city life of Belfast more than the small town feeling of Pullman. Queen’s University is also a better academic choice compared to Washington State University (I have nothing against WSU, and it is a really good school; however, Queen’s is relatively more prestigious than WSU and I would get more out of my time in college). The counter-argument to these things is that my entire life is in the United States; my friends, my family, my college… everything. I am pretty sure I would be able to build a new life here, just as much as I built a life in Pullman when I first went to college. But after weighing all of my options and looking at the potential outcomes, I think the right choice for me and my future is to continue my education at Washington State University next year.