Leaving for England

My last two weeks in New York before leaving for my new home in England were strange. I had just left SUNY New Paltz for the last time, since this semester is my last before I graduate. I was sad for reasons I couldn’t explain, happy to be home, and extremely anxious about starting life in a new place all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. I visited everyone I could–my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends I knew I would miss. I spent more time with my mom than usual because this is by far the longest period of time I have spent away from her.

My last night at home, I had a party with my stepbrother and our friends. I stayed up until 7am with a friend, laughing, drawing on each other, watching stupid YouTube videos, and just enjoying what little time I had left in my beloved basement in New York. I spent the whole day before I left with my friend after we got a few hours of sleep. Driving him home was surreal-he asked me when I was leaving for England, and I replied: “4 hours.” It didn’t feel real. I went home to finish packing and called all of my relatives in case I wouldn’t be able to for a while. My mom made dinner and I couldn’t eat–I felt like if I even talked I would cry! Don’t get me wrong, I was beyond happy to be leaving for England, but I felt so emotional and sad that I wanted to crawl into bed and not ever leave. I barely slept so my plane trip went by in a heartbeat, but when I got to England I was so tired I didn’t think I could make it through customs.


My friend and I split a cab since the lodgings we’d be living in were around the block from each other. When I walked up to the door of my new home, there was a beautiful butterfly resting on the door handle. I’ll never forget that. I knocked and it flew away, and my wonderful landlady, Frances, opened the door and greeted me enthusiastically. I at once felt safe and comfortable in her presence, but I could barely speak and immediately fell asleep for many hours in my bed. The next few days were a struggle, the jet lag made me emotional in the midst of my excitement of being in England.

Alyssa Schwartz, an English major and Music minor, is studying at Kingston University in England. She loves to write, and cannot wait to share her upcoming experiences!

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