Hailey's Guide to Your Last Week

Hailey Neumann headshot
Hailey Neumann
May 16, 2024

My last week in Vienna has been incredibly overwhelming. Three of my five classes not only asked me to write a final paper, but also to take a final test. I’ve been trying to plan stuff to do with my family while they’re here. Trying to figure out when I’m seeing the rest of my family when I get home. I have a new role on the St. Thomas USG Executive Board that I’m trying to settle in to. I have to make plans to move into my housing for the next year when I get back to the United States. I had to pack up my life here in Vienna too. All of these things were/are inevitable but it feels like they’re coming to life all at once. 


Yet, even with all of that there was one thing I wasn’t prepared for. Leaving my friends. It wasn’t even on my radar until it was time. I’ve been so focused on what’s waiting for me at home, focused on seeing my parents for the first time in three and a half months, that I forgot that going home means leaving my friends! 


Listen… am I a crier? Yeah definitely. So, yeah I started crying thinking about seeing my parents. But I thought I’d be completely fine saying goodbye to my friends. 


My best friends, Anne, Joey, Molly and I spent our last night together riding our favorite rides at Prater. We all were going our separate ways the next day. Anne home to Kentucky, Molly to Amsterdam to meet her parents, Joey back to Ohio, and I was staying here in Vienna. When it was time for us to split up (some of us were ready for bed!!) and we all hugged goodbye, I really wasn’t ready for the tears. These people have changed my life, changed who I am, and made my study abroad experience unforgettable. Right now as I’m typing this, I feel like there’s a part of me that’s missing because I’m so used to having them around. We’ve all made promises to visit each other, showing off our hometowns and getting to know different parts of the country. I’m so grateful for them, and everyone else that I was able to get to know in my time in Vienna. 


I’m ready for my next adventure, but the memories I’ve made here will forever be a part of me. Soon I’m going to have to say goodbye to Vienna. The city that I’m lucky enough to have called home. If there was a way to thank the city, I would. It’s been a pleasure getting to know the streets, the shops, the people, and all the things I probably would have missed if I was just passing through. While I probably won’t come back here for a while, I know that one day I will. And as our Mother, Taylor Swift once said, "memorizing (Vienna) was as easy as knowing all the words to your old favorite song and forgetting (Vienna) was like trying to know somebody you never met". 


The only thing I can say is that even with all the struggles of the semester, I can easily say I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything, and if given the chance to do it all again the answer would be an easy yes. 

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Hailey Neumann

Hi guys! I'm a Junior at St Thomas(MN) and a dual citizen of the US and Luxembourg! I love to travel and learn the history of the places I go, and if I'm not outside with my dogs, you'll probably find me in a corner with a rom-com book or movie.

2024 Spring
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