The End of the Road (Almost)
As crazy as it seems to say, I’ve come to the end of my time here at UCD. After four months, I have successfully passed in the final assignment of my semester abroad. Though grades won’t be available for a matter of weeks, I can safely say that I am free of academic burden for the time being and feel very much ready for the summer ahead. As I have alluded to in the past, I am starting this break off with a bang. Tomorrow I leave for a 10-day trip that will take me to four new cities: Budapest, Prague, Berlin, and Stockholm. I will then return to Dublin, where I will meet up my family and kick off another 10 days of exploring Ireland and England. Then, after almost three weeks of travel, I will finally fly home. I can’t quite express how surreal that all seems to me. Even as I type this out, it hasn’t quite sunk in. But here I am, standing at the precipice of it all, ready to take on all that comes.
Before I go, I guess I should offer some thoughts on my time here at UCD. While international travel is certainly one of the most thrilling aspects of any semester spent abroad, through it all, I’ve been a student. I’ve gone to lectures, written papers, crammed for exams. And, to be frank, being a student in Ireland is different from anything I’ve done before. Really, really different. It’s taken hard work and a lot of growing up to stay afloat at a university that on the one hand was welcoming and well-suited for me, but on the other hand totally apart from the educational and social systems I’ve grown accustomed to back in the States. Through it, I’ve learned a lot about myself and about the world around me, from the big things to the small. That said, I could offer heaps of little advise for anyone going through the same process: put the day before the month when writing the date on assignments, always remember to put money on your printing balance before you’re rushing to class with a paper due, put a “U” in “colour” and an “s” in “realise” (Irish people hate their “Z’s”), and so on and so forth. If any of my readers need that level of minutia in the form of advice, just let me know.
Other than that, I’d just like to say that I’m thankful to this school and this program for facilitating my time here. My life on this beautiful campus has formative and will stay with me through all of my future studies and travels. I owe a great deal of gratitude to my lecturers, fellow students, and the rest of the UCD community for all that went into my highly enjoyable semester.
Now it’s off to the races. New cities, new countries, new people, new adventures. It’s intimidating, but I’m ready. The world’s out there, and I’m ready to seize my slice of it.
If you’ve kept up with my blog this far, thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure to write for you, for IFSA, and even for myself over these past months.If all goes well, I should be able to post one more update in a month or so with tales and pictures of my trips that are to come. But, if not, I’m glad of how far I’ve come.