i’m sitting here in my room in my flat at 2:30 in the morning, looking at the empty closet, the mess on the floor, and the blank bulletin board in front of my desk. has it really been 3 months since i first got off the plane at Heathrow? the same bags that i had packed to come here are once again packed up and ready to be shipped off to Los Angeles. how weird.
three months ago i came here not knowing what to expect, not wanting to have any expectations in the event that i end up disappointed. i went to orientation and wondered if i had chosen the right school to spend a term abroad. i looked around at all the interestingly dressed people and wondered if i was going to be completely out of place. i smiled at all the English students who talked so quickly and pretended to understand everything they said. i didn’t know if i was going to travel much, but i knew i wanted to go to Paris at some point. i figured people here would go to pubs a lot, but i wasn’t sure how often and what they’d be doing. i went on wikipedia and tried to memorise as many football teams as i could so that i’d be able to chat about them. i attempted to learn about the British government and the royal family so that i wouldn’t be seen as a stupid American.
fast forward three months, and i realise that i’ve been happier at this school than at the last 2 that i’ve studied at. i’ve learned to branch outside of my ordinary “normal” clothes and experiment with styles that i never would’ve done back home. i can successfully catch most of what people are saying, even when they mumble. i’ve been to Worcester, Milan, Rome, Venice, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Bath, and around London. i’ve enjoyed a few fun-filled Ladies’ Nights at the pubs, and a couple of meals as well. i’m officially supporting Arsenal - go Gunners! - (for now..hahaha), and i’ve run into the Princess at the Goldsmiths store.
i’ve been asked by a lot of people in the past week whether or not i’m going to miss England. my answer? YES. a massive YES. though i’m not sure if i can speak about the entire country since i’ve only been to 3 cities within it, i know i’m going to miss London terribly. i haven’t felt this happy to be in a place for a long, long time. since i’ve entered uni i’ve never taken a single vacation for granted - every break has been enjoyed and savoured. now i just wish that this term would somehow be prolonged and that winter break doesn’t come for another few months..
i’d be lying if i said that there weren’t things here that have frustrated me. the service here isn’t great and it probably won’t ever measure up to the standards that i’m used to. the idea that studying hard in school doesn’t really help you get a good job just blows my mind (and everything that i was brought up to believe, especially in the US). the fact that many words are pronounced “incorrectly” (really, NIKE rhymes with Likey and not Mike) and that people say “well it’s called English, isn’t it?” hasn’t been the greatest, either. and having to defend your religion at all times because most of the country has given up on it got a bit tiring as well.
however, i’d never trade a single moment of my experience here. the people that i’ve talked to, the friends that i’ve met, the flatmates that i lived with..it’s all been so wonderful. as cheesey as it sounds, i haven’t felt so blessed and joyful in a while, and every day while i’ve been here i’ve woken up, looked outside my window, and smiled. literally.
for now, i’m going to take a final swig of my cider, throw some more things in my suitcases, and sleep for a bit before heading to the airport tomorrow. i’m not too worried - i’ll be back. i’m no where done with the UK! a trip to Wales in 2010 is already being thought out hehe (:
i’ll be adding more videos and pictures on here before i completely end the blog, so don’t leave just yet!