This is gonna be incredibly cheesy, but It’s all true and I feel like I need to get this off my mind. I guess this is a typical thing people who Study abroad say, but I’ve truly had the most amazing year I could have imagined.
I’m incredibly lucky to have experienced this and for being here in the first place. A big thank you to my mum for sending me to England. It had been my dream for years, and to have it come true is unbelievable.
Also, I was lucky enough to have an amazing host family! I remember I was absolutely terrified when I sat in the theater my first day in England, waiting until I would find my host family. They have been so kind and great this year, so a massive thanks to them for being awesome.
I came here, just like everyone else, scared and excited and worried and curious. We all left a lot behind, but there is safety in the thought of knowing it will be there when we come back. A lot has changed, but all the things that matter are still there, patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for us to come home. But leaving now is different. Sure, we will go back and visit York again, but it’s not the same. This time, we are packing up everything and leaving behind what matters, for good. It wont be there when we get back. Everything will have moved on, because that’s what time does to precious memories. We will never again attend a class at College, or have trouble finding a table to eat at in restaurants because we are such a large group. We wont take another trip to town, which in the begin seemed like it would never end and eventually became a habit. Perhaps we will come back, but not as students and not as people who lived there, but as visitors. We will no longer say we will go home, without meaning Norway. And I will miss that. So much. I’ll miss all the small things and I’ll miss calling England “Home” and meaning it.
I came here, hoping to make friends, but not expecting to meet some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. I didn’t expect to make such good friends as I have here, let alone find a group of best friends who I knew I could count on, no matter what. Leaving them behind feels awful and wrong and uncomfortably strange, but I know we’ll all walk separate ways tomorrow. Luckily, I can still visit them, but it wont be the same as seeing them every day at college. It wont be easy to just meet up in town and grab a coffee or some lunch.
I’ve been able to be 100% myself this year, and I’ve gotten used to being comfortable with those around me. To think that I’m leaving these amazing people behind makes me sad, but we’ll keep in touch.
Its so strange, because it’s just a year, but one year can really make a difference. You create a whole new life somewhere else within that year, and I think there is something terrifying and beautiful and special about that.
I’ve grown so much, tried and failed and succeeded, I’ve learned new things and faced challenges, and made it out okay.
I’m not gonna tell you I haven’t faced challenges that have made me doubt myself, consider turning back or wish I had someone to support me, but I’m here to tell you that I have learned to deal with these situations and don’t let fear stop me. I’ve come so far, and although I have yet so far to go, I’m proud. I’m proud of becoming independent and completing this year on my own. I’ve had support, but I stood on my own two feet and there is a very comforting thought in that. I did so much I never thought I would do. Both small things and big things. I mean, I moved far away from my family, where I couldn’t call my mum anymore as soon as I had a problem so she could come fix it. And I went out here and was forced to be independent, to be strong. I made it through the stress of college and exams, and life.
I have set up a completely new life here, and I’m leaving it all behind tomorrow. I’m not ready to leave, and If I could stay for another year, I would. But I do realize it’s time to go home now and finish college, before I’m off to University. I’m leaving so much behind, and I do not think words can express how much I will miss York. York is my home now, just like Norway is. I’ve grown to love this city so much, and the freedom that followed with being here.
I guess I wont just miss my friends and the city, but I’ll miss the person I’ve grown to be here. I’ll miss the person who I am now, in this wonderful city, and I realize I will never be that exact person again. Although I will always have the memories of this year, I’m leaving it behind. And how do you continue after that? I haven’t gotten that figured out yet, and I’m probably gonna feel very lost for a few days.
I guess this quote from Lord of the rings: the return of the King describes it perfectly. I’m sorry, you all know I love my quotes.
«We found ourselves looking upon a familiar sight. We were home. How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on… when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back?»
I have a lot to figure out and a lot of goodbye’s to say tomorrow. I want to thank Kaja, Camilla, Helene, Birte and so many more for being the best friends I could have ever imagined. I’m incredibly sad to leave, but I know it’s time to go home, if only for a year. Who knows where I will go next.
So, I guess this is the end of my Exchange year. It’s been a wonderful journey, and I’m so glad I went. To anyone considering or wishing to go abroad, wherever it is, go. It changes you in unexplainable ways. Don’t let fear stop you. Conquer it. Go abroad.
Until next time, England.