So I just got back from a year in Germany, and while it was the most amazing, life changing, (enter all the postisive adjectives here) year of my life, I had to come home. A year seems like a long time, at least it did when I was packing up to go to Germany, but it went by so fast. Months went by in what felt like weeks, and before I knew it I was packing up the hords of things I’d aquired over the year. It still didn’t feel like I was returing home, not on the train, the bus, or the plane. When I said goodbye to my friends and drove through town one last time on the bus, it was all I could do not to cry my eyes out.
(my last day in Germany consisted of packing, eating ice cream, and buying new Birkenstocks)
Leaving Germany was one of the hardest, most heartbreaking things I’ve ever had to do, and no, I’m not being dramatic. The only thing that made it easier was knowing that I had learned so much from the experience, and that because I studied abroad there were so many more opportunites out there for me. I’m now planning on going back to Germany for my masters, I want to invest more in traveling, and I am so much more motived and outgoing then I was a year ago.
Now that I’m home, I’ve had to adjust back, and it has been a harder adjustment then when I got to Germany. It’s the brutal truth, but no one wants to hear all your stories. I think my family lasted a week being genuinely interested in every story and picture I had to share. Luckily, I made lots of friends abroad that I can reminice on good times with. I knew when I was abroad that the friends I made would be friends for life, and that’s one thing that made coming back (slightly) easier.
(and they even have an Oktoberfest in SF that was a great excuse to have a reunion!)
After being abroad, there was no way my life could just continue on as it was before I left. Maybe it’s some way for me to hold onto my experience, but I haven’t stopped by invovement in the Study Abroad community. I started working in the OIP, became involved in the IEEC, Global Ambassadors, and friends with international students in general. I guess what I’m trying to get at is, even though coming home was terribly hard, it’s not all bad. Going abroad has impacted my life so much, and I know that the fun is jsut getting started!