by Rhiannon Jones, (formerly) University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA
As my time in Illinois is replaced by an obligation to talk at study abroad fairs, the moment has come for my last blog post on this site. I’ve actually come back to Manchester twice now, once over summer and once for the start of term so this is a little overdue. Having started this paragraph in October and finally finishes it in December, I suppose I have been putting off the last piece of studying abroad.
It was a bit of an adjustment to go from a month of travelling in the US, living off my savings, to being back in a student-less Fallowfield working at the uni. I must admit that it was nice not living out of a suitcase and considering the number of hostels we stayed in, it was also nice to be sleeping in a room with no-one else in.
The biggest adjustment was actually a little unexpected. Coming to terms with everyone else having had a life while I’ve been gone was definitely odd. It’s tempting to believe that everything stops while you’re away having fun. This obviously isn’t the case and in reality they’re just getting on with things just like you are. It was weird that the ‘new’ people are established and you can feel like a bit of an outsider, missing out on the events of last year.
Not to worry though. Turns out the course that took up so much of my time last year is still keeping me quite busy, but this time in scarier, more stressful masters form. I’ve also kept up playing lacrosse, and after being moved up teams, it looks like I did in fact pick up more than a few things while I was away. I feel like after choosing to go on this ridiculous journey I’ve made more of a conscious effort to keep myself occupied. With having only spent 4 weeks at home in the last years I guess it’s worked.