When I made the decision to go college 3,734 miles away from my home, my friends, family and I knew it would be difficult. You might say that I should have taken that into consideration when I made that decision, and you would be right. I often get asked when people realize I am from England, "Is it hard being that far away from home?" Frankly, it is.
Parents are pretty important when it comes to college. Not just for tuition and buying books, but for physical presence and emotional support. Moving in: a stressful and exhausting experience. Moving out: please see above. Finals and mid-terms aren't easy either when you are sick, stressed and not to mention when you are having the best time of your life. Having a five hour time difference and a nine hour flight can make all of these things even more difficult. But enough of the pity party, I expected all of this.
What I didn't expect was the compassion I would receive from my friends and their families. I have been invited to Thanksgiving dinners by multiple people, arguably the most traditionally family orientated holiday. I have been moved in and out of dorms when my parents were unable to fly and help me themselves. I have had care packages and texts and calls from these parents who selflessly comfort me when my parents can't.
This is of no disrespect to my parents. It is as hard, if not harder, for them than for me to be this far away from home. They support me and visit me wherever and whenever they can. They would do the same for anyone in my position if they could. But where they can't, they also take comfort in the knowledge that I am looked after by some pretty special people.
We may FaceTime on parents weekend instead of actually seeing each other. I won't get the train home a couple times a semester but that is okay. I would make the decision to come to university in America all over again in a heartbeat, especially with the knowledge of the generous people I would meet.
So thank you, to everyone who checks up on me, who helps me, who sympathizes with me, who understands. It doesn't go unnoticed and it's because of you that those 3,734 miles feel like not such a huge obstacle.