Coming Home Again
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Coming Home Again

Do you think about me now and then?

Coming Home Again
Sophie Stauffer

I’ve been studying in Ireland for the past three months or so, and in three weeks, I’ll fly back into New York City. Honestly, I have thought about coming home since I left it. I knew that study abroad students sometimes struggle when they return home, so I made sure to keep in mind that this was temporary. Though I have loved studying in Ireland and traveling around Europe in my free time, I’m still a student. I have more work to do. I can’t just frolic from country to country forever. Plus, I have a whole life to return to in the United States. There are people that I miss there and cuisine that could not quite be matched elsewhere.

Leaving Ireland will be bittersweet. More than anything, though, it will be strange. Aside from the small aspects like going back to using dollars instead of euros and driving on the right side of the rode, being back in the United States will be a huge adjustment.

I’m coming back to the United States a different person than who I was when I left it. Being out of your comfort zone and being somewhere new changes you. In being somewhere that wasn’t Indiana, where I have lived for my entire life, I have seen that there are many different lifestyles and ways to be happy. I’ve realized some of my own faults with how I view the United States and the norms there. Interestingly, what surprised me the most was that I realized that I’m not stagnant.

Before I came to Ireland, I was really getting disappointed by the monotony of everyday life and the challenges that come with being a college student. I was constantly afraid that I would be stuck exactly where I was. But in coming here, and seeing places that I had dreamed about for so long, I realized that I’m far from stagnant. On the contrary, I will always be growing and working towards other goals, so long as that is what I choose to do. I worked hard so that I could study abroad, and when I return, I’ll go back to working hard so that I can travel to other continents and reach other goals. I’m not stuck in Indiana, on a campus, or anywhere else. I’m free to do as I choose, and work as hard as I am willing in order to live the life in which I want to craft for myself.

I am incredibly fortunate that I got this opportunity, and that I now have the opportunity to continue my degree. Though I’m leaving Ireland for now, I’m not leaving behind everything that I’ve learned or all the memories that I’ve made. I’m so incredibly grateful that I’ll have this experience to help shape the rest of my life.

I’m leaving Europe, but this isn’t the end. This is only the beginning of the adventurous, incredible life that I want to build for myself. It won’t be easy to leave, and it will be difficult to go back to a routine, but finding something new to look forward to will be easy. There are five other continents that I haven’t been to yet, and plenty of places in the United States that I haven’t seen either. When you’re open to new experiences, you have the whole world at your feet.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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