Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Leaving the Nest

      I’ve been to Britain before, once, for two weeks when I was thirteen.
      That doesn’t mean I’m not nervous about living at Harlaxton.

      Last time I traveled abroad, I had my parents with me. This time, I don’t. Sure, sometimes I think I’d like to move out of their house permanently, but there’s a difference between moving across town and spending four months across the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve never been away from my parents for more than three nights at a time. I’ve never even lived in a dorm before.

    I guess I have to start being self-reliant some time. What better place is there for me to grow up a little than a manor in England?

   I love Britain, anyway. When I returned from my trip to Britain six years ago, I felt homesick for Britain. The island captured my imagination. It was everything that I’d read in the history books I adored. There really were ancient Roman walls in the middle of cities. I really could stand in churches where monks had stood a thousand years earlier.  At Harlaxton, I get to live in a manor. This morning, I went to church in Harlaxton village. That church was originally erected in the twelfth century, put together in bits and pieces through the centuries. It’s been through the Reformation and many, many wars. Later this semester, with my Shakespeare class, I’ll visit Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s old town. History is everywhere in Britain. What’s not to love?

   I know I’ll have a hard time adjusting to life away from home at first. I won’t be able to get hugs and kisses from my mum whenever I need them…but that’s just a part of growing up. I can Skype her, and I can learn to take care of myself. Once I’ve settled in and classes start, I’ll be so busy studying—fantasy literature, British Studies, Irish literature, Shakespeare—and adventuring—London! Edinburgh! York!—that I won’t have time to be homesick. I’ll learn to travel the world by myself and speak for myself. I’ll get to live in a land where history is everywhere you look.

    As I sit in the courtyard of the Carriage House, feeling the cool breeze and looking up at the sunny sky, that prospect doesn’t seem frightening at all.  

           - Kirstin Ethridge

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