Time Flies When You’re Having the Best Semester of Your Life

Today, as I crossed Waterloo Bridge on my way to class, it hit like a murky silt-filled wave from the River Thames – I only have three weeks left in London. For some reason, maybe it was the fact that the sun was out or that I was jamming out to one of my current favorite songs, but a huge smile spread across my face as passed over the bridge and realized the extent of my love for this city. It’s incredible to me how comfortable I have become with London in only a matter of months. London can officially join the ranks with Chicago and Boston as another city that I will feel homesick towards.

Before we left campus for the summer, our advisor held an information session for all of the BC students who would be studying abroad in London during 2016/2017. Among the important clerical details that he covered, he stressed the fact that our study abroad journeys would be a rollercoasters of emotion. When he first told us this, I doubted its validity. I knew it would be tough in the beginning, but how could I ever want to leave? But now, with only three short weeks left in London, I’m realizing how much my feelings truly fluctuate.

My emotions are especially out of whack after missing Thanksgiving, and I’m starting to feel homesick again. Watching everyone’s Snapchat stories of them reuniting with their beloved dogs, cats, family members and local foods has me eager to be home. While everyone else spent last Thursday stuffing their faces with turkey, cornbread and casseroles, I was sitting in class from 9AM until 5PM. Although Thanksgiving has never been a massive event with my family, I wish I was spending the holiday in sweatpants watching the Cowboys game and eating pies until I passed out.

At the same time, I’m getting really sad about leaving this country so soon. I’ve been working on completing some of the “places to go in London” from my running list which includes museums, food places, festivals and day trips around the U.K., many of which have yet to be checked off. I’m beginning freak out about trying to fit in all of my London bucket-list items to my short schedule while simultaneously writing an abundance of essays for class. There is so much left to do and see here, but I also want more time to just relax, walk around, and take it all in.

While I wish it could be all up, up, up, on the rollercoaster of emotion that is study abroad, I knew I would end up feeling this way when Thanksgiving came around. The good thing is, I have a lot to look forward to. My parents will be flying to London a few days before the end of classes so I will have a chance to show them around my city. For now, I’ll have to do my best to remain heads down on my essays so that I can enjoy the heck out of my final weeks in London with my friends and family.

Ready, Set, Go Abroad!

When I was little, my parents used to ask me where I wanted to go to college and what I wanted to study. At the time, I only had one definitive answer for them: “I want to go abroad for a semester and explore the world”. I’m so lucky to say that I am living out my 13-year-old dream as I am sitting on the steps of the fountain in front of the Buckingham Palace reflecting on the first days of my semester studying abroad.

The weeks leading up to London were not easy. My semester started much later than all of my friends abroad and everyone back at BC. It was difficult watching everyone reunite after the summer and experience the excitement of moving into his or her homes off campus while I was stuck sitting on my couch at home anticipating my travels across seas. Briefly, I contemplated withdrawing my acceptance from my school in London because I was struggling with the idea of being way from BC and my best friends for so long.

Even though I have only been here for 9 days, I can already say with confidence that choosing to study abroad will be one of the greatest decisions I’ve made in my 21 years. My first days in London have been nonstop from the minute I landed. I’ve spent this first week attending orientation sessions, meeting new people, shopping for essentials, and exploring the city. I also took a trip to Munich this past weekend and met up with other BC friends who are studying all over Europe!

Before we left for the summer, our study abroad advisor suggested to us that studying abroad would be a roller coaster of emotions. Although I was able to make friends with the other American study abroad students living in my flat and other BC students studying in London, I was still feeling a tinge of homesickness. It was highly stressful the first day as I tried to maneuver the Tube (the transportation system in London), find a grocery store, and get used to all of the small differences in the culture that was so new to me.

It has definitely been an exciting but exhausting first few days of my abroad experience, and I cannot wait to see what’s in store for the rest of my time here. This week I have my first classes, which could potentially bring some stress back into my life, but I think that I’ll be going uphill on this rollercoaster for a while now. Now I need to get back to London, explore some more, and try some fish and chips…will update soon!