A few highlights from my first semester at Uni in London. From top left: A view of London from the Tate Modern, Christmas time in the city with Lidia, eating waffles in Amsterdam, rehearsal for my dramaturgy class, New Year’s Eve with my cousin McKenna, and a final night out before the end of the semester with April.
So this post is only a month overdue . . . All that aside, now that we’ve welcomed 2014, I thought it would be a nice little reminder for me to look back on some of my favorite memories from my fall term abroad. I’ll have to admit, after having a month off of school to celebrate the holidays in the company of my Aunt, Uncle and Cousins, it was quite difficult to return to school not to mention get back in the habit of regularly blogging (as is evident by my lack of posts since the new year celebrations). Of course I had a wonderful experience during my first semester, but I was returning to University with the knowledge that so many of the close friends that I had bonded with over the previous three months would not be there to reunite with after the holiday season. While I knew that I would get to meet so many new people to share close conversation with, I’m not going to lie, returning to Uni a few days before classes started up again was a bit lonely. Don’t get me wrong, I like to have my alone time too, but through my experiences at University, both back home and abroad, I’ve learned that I’m someone who needs social interaction for the sake of my own sanity ha ha. Reflecting back on my first term arriving in London with little knowledge of what to expect and not knowing anyone, to eventually watching some of my closest friends wheel their luggage out of their flats one by one, I can truly say that I have learned so much, not only about other perspectives on life, but also about myself. My Aunt was definitely right when she told me that you connect with people in a different way when you are put in a new environment where you’re all starting over in a sense because everyone wants to make friends. You bond quickly and closely. Goodbyes have always been difficult for me, even just thinking back to the times I would part with my cousin at the airport when we were young I remember always being emotional about her departure. (Now that I’m older I’ve gotten pretty good at concealing my emotions to the public.) But with goodbyes come new and fresh beginnings which propel you to venture out of your comfort zone, meet new people, and understand more about yourself. I’ve discovered and accepted the fact that I have a hard time with transitions, something that I feel I’ve always subconsciously known about myself but tried to deny. I’ve discovered that I have a serious fear of missing out on opportunities because I won’t have the same experiences as other people to share and laugh about. I’ve discovered that I don’t really speak up for myself when something has affected me in an effort to avoid any unnecessary drama or problems, whether that is a good or bad thing I’m still unsure of. And I’ve discovered that I need to learn how to live in the moment and not worry so much about things that have happened in the past or may happen in the future. Most importantly, I just feel incredibly lucky and grateful that I’m able to stay for another term because I will be able to connect with more people and acquire a greater sense of independence and maturity. I can’t wait to look back on this new term with fond memories and if it is anything like first semester I know I will have a lot of fun! Thank you so much to my friends both old and new and of course my family for making this experience both possible and positive, it is an adventure I will always remember!