This is 'See You Later'

Anna Alden
December 13, 2015

Less than one week ago, I was saying goodbye to the most amazing friends, taking in my last glimpses of the most beautiful places, and getting ready for a triple-flight endeavor back home to the States. Now, finally home and visiting friends at school, I honestly can't believe what just happened over the course of only a few months. 

Firstly, I just did so much adulting that I firmly believe I morphed into a completely different person whilst abroad and am now the kind of human who could possibly, maybe, survive in the outside world. It is a very, very good feeling. Secondly, my adulting was very location-specific, so returning home was a sort of reverse culture-shock back into my own life. Suddenly I'm back to my usual activities, living at home, and sort of reverting back to a time I associate with a much younger version of myself. It is a very, very weird feeling. Of course, I miss my friends an obscene amount, but right now they feel a world away... or ocean, rather. It's as if the last three months existed in a parallel universe, and as happy as I am to be home, I'm missing every second of it. 

For the millionth time, I have to say that going to Oxford was one of the best experiences of my life. It's right up there with every bite of chocolate I've ever consumed (every single one), discovering Parks and Rec (#wafflesfriendswork), and that one time I was born (you're welcome mom). Being surrounded by so many amazing brains in such a renowned academic setting is an opportunity incomparable to anything else, and it lived up to every expectation. Never again will I have so much access to the greatest scholars of our time, one of the largest and oldest libraries ever built, and a seemingly endless supply of St. Catz chocolate mousse. It was pretty great, and having to leave at 4am on a Thursday morning was difficult for multiple reasons.

But of course that wasn't the end for me; my friends and I planned to travel the week before I would return home. We ended up having only a few days, but Barcelona and Rome were absolutely amazing and I really enjoyed having a little bit of extra time with friends. From the flatlands of England to the mountainous terrain of Spain, and finally the cobbled streets of the Italian city, we saw so much in the time we did have. With this little bit of travel before heading home, I can say that it only made me want to keep going. In conclusion, I'll be back Europe!

My very last note, however, has to go out to Oxford. One day, I will be back to eat a G&D's waffle sundae in front of the Radcliffe Cam. I will. 

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Anna Alden

<p>I am a Literature major at the University of Rochester and am attending Oxford through IES Direct Enrollment in the fall semester of 2015. As an aspiring academic, I am far too invested in the contents of my bookshelf and can often be caught printing an extra copy of completed papers for my own safekeeping. I am fully prepared to take on a completely new and exciting abroad experience both in and out of the classroom, and my love for writing makes each experience even more exciting to share.</p>

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