It’s only the latter half of November but it feels like I’ve been in the UK for a year.
The first month is epic — you’re in the exploratory phase of traveling abroad. Learning the layout of the Manor itself takes a few weeks, and after the preliminary trips (London in my case, then Wales) you’re ready to enter phase 2: homework, with as many trips as you can during the weekends. It creeped on me, really, when I realized I didn’t realize I was abroad anymore at Harlaxton.
Harlaxton does such a good job of creating a home-like atmosphere that I only feel I’m in foreign lands when I’m off campus. I didn’t mind phase 2 at all. That’s when the big things happened, but also the first rounds of exams and projects. But now that I’m through the initial struggle it’s all about keeping busy, something I feared would never happen during my first weeks when there were things to see, names to remember, and trips to plan. But now everything on campus is like background noise, sorta like it was at UE for me. I enjoyed it when I had the time, and was part of it when I didn’t.
But now we’re in the tail-end of phase 3, the homestretch, and things have picked up. I guess it would have to have been the costume ball, which I recall I didn’t think too highly of when I first saw the posters, but when you know everybody during the reception, and now that you have so much in common with these once-strangers, you realize how far you’ve gotten. Maybe it was the wine? Anyway…
For once we had a chance to celebrate campus and all it had to offer, together, and forget about term papers and group presentations for a weekend. But now that’s the past, and all I have left is Ireland this weekend, finals, then a grueling plane-ride to Chicago. I’m torn between leaving, as I assume most are. On one end I’m thinking, “It’ll be great to be home, have taco bell, and not sound like a tourist.” But on the other it’s “wow, has it been three months already?”
But I’d have to say I have no regrets, and plan to make the most of the homestretch ahead and enjoy the States as much as I can.