Monday, 3 December 2012

Reflections on the Best Semester of My Life

Never have I faced the last day of classes with such sadness...where has my time gone???
This semester has been a semester of firsts: first time out of the country, first time flying on my own, first time riding in a cab, first time being away from my family for so long, and my first time trying a whole list of foods, from kebabs to Yorkshire pudding. 

My overall impression of England, from that first experience on the Underground of the family helping that old lady, up until this point, hasn’t proved to be wrong. The people I’ve met are so welcoming and kind, if a bit reserved at first! As I’ve learned about the culture here, I’ve found much to admire—even though I am still an American at heart. 

I got to go on some pretty magical adventures, let me tell ya! Weekends visiting London, a visit to Warner Brother’s Studios to take the Harry Potter tour, taking a train from King’s Cross, attending a murder mystery dinner, dancing at a ceilidh, riding a ferry on Lake Windermere, exploring Harrod’s, dressing in Regency garb in Bath, ice skating in London, experiencing a Christmas market...the list goes on and on! 

And more than that, here follows a list of ordinary(ish) things which, before this semester, were rare treats.  I have now experienced them more times in the last three months than in my entire life previously: 

  •  Seeing the ocean 
  •  Hearing bagpipes
  • Smelling old books
  •  Carrying an umbrella
  •   Flying
  •  Train trips and taxi rides
  • Watching Jane Austen movies
  •   Climbing mountains
  •   Speaking to British people
  •  Drinking hot chocolate

A semester as wonderful as this really cannot be summed up in words. Here are a few that come to my mind when I think of my time here: love, scarf, family, enchanted, Victorian, postcard, accomplishment, parchment, Lancelot, purple, adventure, vintage, novelty. Do I really think my time here was “purple”? No, but I do think that it was multi-faceted, at some times warm and inviting, at others dark and mysterious, but always exciting. Just like purple. 

The most disappointing thing about going home is that I don’t know yet when I will be able to return. But return I must. Because there is so much left to see and do! I believe I have gotten the “bug.” Whatever bug you get from an initial bout of wanderlust, that’s what I have. 

I’ll be taking with me a whole collection of awesome souvenirs and stories, but more importantly, I’ll be bringing back a whole story of wonderful memories that will stay with me forever. I cannot remember a time when I was so completely happy! I have had constant enjoyment from everything ...and that is saying something, since I had many fabulous experiences before coming here. My life has definitely changed, and for the better. I’m still the same person though! Just wiser, friendlier, and much more experienced. I have a greater appreciation for my home—I cannot wait to see everyone at home again! I am returning to good ol’ Kentucky, after the best semester of my life.

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