The week of finals, the final week

Aside from the essays I’ve written and have yet to write before I leave, all that’s been on my mind is, well, leaving. As I said to a friend from home a few hours ago, leaving the UK will be the most bittersweet experience of my life. I adapt to new places quickly, and I always have. When I was younger, I moved a lot, and each time I moved out of one of my houses, amidst the flood of tears I left behind, were kisses that I gave to each room. Then, a few weeks into settling into a new place, I felt at home. That’s sort of what this feels like.

I wasn’t expecting to adapt so quickly to a new school in a new town in a new country as well and as quickly as I did, and now that I know I could stay here in Huddersfield for a long, long time, it feels almost wrong to leave.

On the other hand, I miss my family and friends and dog and Brooklyn and New Paltz more than I ever have. I wouldn’t say I’m homesick—I don’t really spend much time thinking about how much I’d like to be home, because I love being here—but I know that when I see my family and friends and dog and Brooklyn and New Paltz, I will probably feel a sense of joy in being home that I’ve never really felt before. I can almost feel it now, except that thinking about being home makes me sad about leaving Huddersfield. Also, I over-think things too much.

So, for my last week and two days here, I’ve got lots of fun things planned.

Tomorrow, Lauren and I are going to a 3-hour-long (???) meeting to discuss our experience here with staff from the International Office. We’re going to give them our feedback and more or less everything we’ve done here, and what we think can be improved for the next round of students from New Paltz/the US.

After that, Kirsty and I are going to her house for the weekend. This is mostly so she can pick up her car, but also so that on Saturday, we can go to the Manchester Christmas Fayre (that’s how they spell “fair” here… pretty strange) with two of her best friends. On Tuesday morning, bright and early, we’re going to be driving to Wales and spending the day there. I’m really excited about this. Even though British people consider Wales and England to be the same thing, even more than Scotland and England, as a stupid American, this is not my thought. Wales is a whole other country to me, and we can DRIVE there! How cool is that? Plus, Welsh is the strangest-looking language ever, and I can’t wait to be confused by the road signs.

On Wednesday, we’re driving to Chester. About two months ago, Kirsty and I went to Chester Zoo. On our way back, since we had to take buses and a train, we walked through the town, which I fell in love with. We weren’t able to spend any real time there, since we were looking for the train station the whole time, but now that we have a car, we’ll get to explore the gorgeous city. I really can’t wait! If we get back early enough, we’ll go to dinner, or at least out to a club, with Lauren, Berit, Lucie and Marianne. That’ll probably be the last time I see them (except Lauren, of course, and Kirsty), which is possibly too depressing to discuss further, but I’ll write more about it once I’m home and have processed it.

Thursday and Friday are unplanned as of now, but I’m the type of person who, when something is coming to an end, likes to stick to the normal routine. I don’t like to have huge, momentous celebrations to commemorate the end of something, because that doesn’t feel like any attention is really being given to what’s ending.

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