I’ve been back home for a week and a day, and just like I thought, I’m completely used to it. It feels like I’ve been home for three weeks, and almost like my trip abroad was a dream.
On the other hand, I have a rich new well of memories to draw from and share with family, friends, and complete strangers. I’ve discovered that in the same way that when I told people in England that I was from New York and they got really excited, people who I’ve been telling that I’ve just come back from studying abroad also get really excited. It sort of makes me feel like I’m a bridge between two different cultures, between different groups of people who don’t know each other, but love to hear about experiences they’ve never had.
I used to think that studying abroad was something that everyone did in college and that it was almost an expectation. Over the past few years, I’ve realized that that’s certainly not true, and in the past few months, I’ve realized that having the desire, motivation, and perseverance that is required to go through each step of the study abroad process is not something that everyone has. I don’t mean this in a condescending way–studying abroad isn’t right for everyone–but I’m glad I’ve always known it was right for me. Even though it was scary to leave home, and a little sad to miss out on a semester at New Paltz, which I love so much, the 12.5% of my college experience spent in Huddersfield will remain just as vibrant in my mind as the 87.5% spent in New Paltz. That alone makes the adventure well-worth the risk, if you ask me.
I miss the UK, but there is not a doubt in my mind that I’ll be back, probably even relatively soon. Being home has been nice too. I missed my friends and family and the familiarity of home, which I now see in a different way.