Well, the time has come for one last post. As the dust is settling upon my arrival back in the states, I am finally back on the appropriate time zone, and no longer wide awake at 3am, going for a run at 4am, and having cooked and eaten a full breakfast by 6am.
Now is the time to return to reality, which for me at this point is fairly wide open. My job search is in full swing while I try and get myself in some sort of routine as I seek out the next step.
Having the beginning of my postgraduate life be spent abroad was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I know, what a foreign concept, a girl in her early twenties coming back from an abroad experience raving about it, surprise surprise. But seriously, it was incredibly humbling and an experience I will never forget.
Just as my parents urged me to take the time to travel, I urge everyone in my shoes to do the same. Getting out of your comfort zone and going out into the world on your own will make you feel like a sponge, soaking up everything around you, and allowing it to shape you moving forward. When you do go, don’t take any of it for granted. If you’re considering a side-adventure while you’re there, DO IT. And in times of homesickness or struggle, just remember where you are—wherever you may be—take a deep breath and value the opportunity of experience.
I definitely plan on taking my experiences with me, and keeping them in my back pocket as I transition into the working world. I have never been one to define myself as a homebody, but especially after this experience, I have more confidence in myself than ever that I can take on any place life takes me and thrive there. Challenge accepted.
Having the opportunity of working in a foreign country for sure spices up your resume, but only if you allow yourself to really appreciate and grow from the experience, as I really believe I have. Taking in all these new things has been like a breath of fresh air, and I intend to continue living my life in this way. Appreciating both the good parts and the difficult parts.
The final thing I have to say is thank you. Thank you to the wonderful people of Ireland, IES, my incredible internship host, mom and dad, old friends for encouraging me to do this, and new friends for making traveling so much fun and completely unforgettable.