by Becky Light, University of Missouri, USA
As everyone warned me, the last few weeks of the semester have been jam-packed. In the weeks since Thanksgiving break, I have had lots of assignments and exams to submit, alongside finals week and trying to make the most of my last few weeks in the States.
Over Thanksgiving I was really lucky to be able to spend a few days with family in Colorado. They showed me all the sights, took me skiing, and treated me to an amazing Thanksgiving meal. They were the most welcoming hosts, and I can’t wait to go back when I come back to America in the Summer. My favourite part of the trip was walking around the town of Vail, which was like something from a Disney film.
In the weeks following Thanksgiving it was all systems go. I had presentations to give in two of my classes, essays to write, and general final exams to prepare for. I was initially quite nervous about the presentations as I had no idea what to expect! From what I’ve experienced in the UK, presentations are taken quite seriously, but I wasn’t sure if this was going to be the case at Mizzou. So, I went in with the idea of being 50% serious, 50% relaxed, and this worked perfectly! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to give one of the presentations as I was unwell, but the second one went really well, and I ended up with a fantastic grade. Throughout all of my assessments over the entire semester, all my teachers have been hugely supportive and really easy to contact. They’re always willing to answer questions if they can, and although I haven’t taken advantage of any office hours, they are always there if you need them.
Over the weekend of the 10th December I was lucky to attend a Military Ball, which was a truly amazing experience. I met some wonderful people and got to listen to some really moving speeches. I also got to spend some time with my lovely friends, and got to dress up in a posh dress, which was lots of fun! It was a really nice break from the stressful academic life which was starting to takeover.
Finals week has been a stressful time, but I did it! The week works really differently for everyone, so if you’re in this position, focus on what you have to do and don’t worry about what others are saying. Some people might have long essay exams, some might have multiple choice exams with ‘cheat sheets’. At the end of the day, everyone is stressed and wanting to do well, so just focus on that and help each other out where you can! I finished my last final on Wednesday 14th December, and it was such a feeling of relief (completing the last exam of your study abroad with 100% is a pretty exciting feeling…!), but it was also bittersweet; it means my time here is really coming to an end. I have met the most incredible people who I am lucky to call my family, and I can’t wait to come back and see them all soon. Before I fly home on Monday 19th, I’m heading to Chicago with a friend to spend a few days seeing the sights and ticking things off of the bucket list, and then it’s back for a roast dinner and to see my family! Despite the excitement about this, I’m gutted to have to be leaving. However, I’ve been assured that no one is going to forget about me, and they’re all excited for me to come back!