Week 18: What’s Scarier, Monsters or Finals?
Halloween is practically here! Back home I would be picking out costumes with friends, trying to find the perfect balance between cute and warm. We would be getting candy and enjoying the weather as the leaves change and the air cools. But here, Halloween is just like any other Saturday. Friends around UC are going to their typical Saturday night haunts, getting a couple beers, and preparing for finals. Some of us ‘Mericans are having a Halloween part despite this. It’s crazy to me that on the side of the globe where weather wouldn’t hinder a costume decision, they don’t care at all about Halloween. But ce la vie. We’ll have our hommage to our holiday ourselves.
Sadly though, Halloween marks the end of SWOTVAC and the beginning of the final exam period. My first exam is on Tuesday. Then a nice two week break. Then my last two finals on the same day. The stress is really starting to hit. The whole semester was leading up to these last three tests (and a paper). But once they’re done I can relax again.
And I get three whole days to relax, then I’m back on a plane to the U.S. I have very mixed feelings about leaving in less than a month. I’ve made a place here. I have friends, connections to the faculty here, places I go for a reliable bite to eat and cup of coffee. I am comfortable in Melbourne. Plus I am nowhere near done exploring! How can four months be over?! It feels like last week I was flying into Sydney … and now I’m looking down the barrel of my plane ride home. Then again, I am going home. No more uncertainty when going to the doctor, no more issues with a cell phone and not being able to drive. I get to see my friends back home, my girlfriend, and I get my old community back. I am excited to play rugby again. I am excited to have my LGBTQ+ support group. So there are things I am looking forward to. I go back and forth from day to day. Like right now, I can’t wait to get home, eat some real pizza, and see everyone. But yesterday, you would have had to drag me kicking and screaming to the airport.
We had our IFSA – Butler Farewell Dinner on the 20th. Being surrounded by everyone again, looking at pictures taken over the semester was heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. It made me realize that I’m leaving this amazing country and these wonderful people much sooner than I thought. I can remember back to only having 21 days before I left for Australia. I was excited beyond words. Going back is an entirely different form of excitement – bittersweet and a bit apprehensive. I’m worried I won’t feel at home there anymore. I’m certain that I’ve caught the travel bug and sitting around in one place won’t be enough for me anymore. But then again, I know I have wonderful friends and family that are going to help me out.
Still….I don’t want to go just yet.