I'm writing today because there is something I think often, but have never really said out loud. Those of you on the outside see my study abroad experience through these articles, or else ten minutes of moments pieced together through a video. I laugh a lot because I like to be happy, but I never want happiness to be confused with taking any of this lightly or for granted. I guess my thank-you goes out to no one in particular, but also everyone at once. I want you to know how grateful I am for the opportunity to be here. I know how impactful this chance is, how much living abroad in England has made me grow. I also know this is not an opportunity most people ever have the chance to seize. To anyone who has given me the advice, emotional support, financial support, and personal confidence to be here - thank you. Know that I appreciate it every day.
I am grateful to miss so many people right now. Thanksgiving is a holiday I have always spent wth my family. This year was my first "Friendsgiving." As much fun as I had on the holiday, I thought of everyone at home often. My family, friends, and the friends who are family, were hard to leave behind, and that is a tribute to how wonderful each of you are.
In a similar vein, I am grateful for the forensics community. So far, I have not met anyone from England who does anything that resembles forensics. The more I see of the world, the more I realize how few places like our speech community exist out there. Thank you for your safety, your acceptance, and your undying passion for the things that you love.
I am grateful for the difficulties I have been faced with here. There are so many great parts of this adventure to choose from, but one of the reasons I wanted to go abroad was to become independent and really test what I am capable of. The difficult moments are part of what I came here to experience, and they have taught me a lot.
Finally, I am grateful to the friends I have made since coming to Liverpool. All of you make up the great parts I was referring to a second ago. Travel is a unique bonding experience, and I feel so lucky to explore this place with my fellow international students. So many locals have been gracious, welcoming, and eager to hear about the place that I come from in addition to sharing their Liverpool pride. It has been a privilege to see their country through their eyes.
I get the impression some English people think America is a very glamorous, thrilling place. After explaining where I am from I have more than once gotten the response, "You're from America? Why would you come here?" I don't think it occurs to them that for some Americans, England is just as fascinating a place. To me, Liverpool is a charming and busy and quirky city all it's own. I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to know these people and this city for a short while. Thank you.