Well, it’s been three days since I came back home. Honestly, the past three days have just been filled with being reunited with things I’ve missed and dealing with jet lag, but I am slowly beginning to have the fact that my study abroad experience is over sinking in. I wanted to keep things really candid and in the moment as I have for the past few months writing these blogs, so I decided that I would transcribe the journal entry I wrote in my abroad journal to share with you and give the honest and raw feelings and emotions I was actually feeling in the moment of leaving for home. My journal has been a really safe and vulnerable place for me to confide in while abroad, so I thought I would share a little tidbit from it.
“I know I said about being in disbelief yesterday, but today tops it by ten. I just cannot fathom the fact that I’m going home in a few short hours and then I’m home and that’s it. Plain and simple. The life I’ve been living for almost 4 months is just over and done. Sure I can come back to London and I can visit my abroad friends in the future and keep up with them but never in my life will I experience what I experienced the past 4 months again. It’s depressing to let sink in but it’s also a huge wave of gratitude that flows through me. I experienced, saw, and did things I never would’ve done at this stage of my life if I hadn’t gone abroad. I think back to me in the summer and fall being unsure of what my next steps would be and stumbling into the process and program. Living in a state of surrealness the few months and weeks before leaving for London. Being so scared and uncertain about my ability to do it and my choice. To then living in an almost state of dreaming for almost 4 months living in London and just absolutely loving it. Having the ability to do tube routes like I’ve done it my whole life, be a tour guide for visitors who came to see me, and truly be able to call London home is something I was so apprehensive about my ability to do so in the beginning. There were so many moments where I thought I couldn't do it anymore but here I am sitting in Heathrow airport with my flight leaving in 3 hours and boarding in 2 and thinking back to me journaling in here in Newark airport sitting (unknowingly) at the wrong gate with absolutely no idea what was to come. I'm really just proud of myself and my accomplishments. A year ago today I would've for one never done this but I also never would've thought I could do it. Cheers to proving your old self wrong. I wrote this in my notes in on February 20th and i think it really sums up how im feeling. There are a million things ill miss about home, but there are also a million things ill miss about London. That's when I realize how abundantly full my life is with good.”
My thoughts were choppy and all over the place, but I think there's nothing better to wrap up an experience than to capture the real and raw emotions that I was feeling in the moment. Everything I said in that journal entry is true, I am so eternally grateful for the growth and experiences I have gone through. Studying abroad, cheesily enough, truly did change me and only for the better. I encourage (and beg) anyone who is even slightly considering studying abroad to go for it and make that jump. I will spend my whole life looking back on this chapter with gratitude and admiration. I wanted to thank anyone who has read my often sappy and emotional blogs, I have truly loved being able to document my experience and share it with prospective study abroad students. I also wanted to thank IES Abroad for providing an amazing semester that has impacted me for a lifetime. I'm eternally grateful for every moment abroad.
Sending my best wishes to prospective students and my thankfulness for this experience.
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Hi! My name is Emma Crawford. I'm a sophomore comm studies major from Pennsylvania and Ill be studying abroad in London. I am a lifelong Swiftie, lover of coffee, and always down to try something new. I am so excited to explore London and other countries in Europe!