As long as it took to actually begin, my study abroad experience is now coming to a quick end (only three weeks left)! Over here In Europe, I have made so many friends and so many memories that I will never forget. When I go home, I'll know someone on almost every continent, and I hope that I never lose touch with any of them. When I'm home, I'll hopefully have enough material to finish that novel I always say I am working on. This experience has been such an illuminating adventure that I don't want it to end.
But all good things must.
And to be honest, there is a part of me that is excited to be home again because of how much I have missed it and all the things I exchanged for whatever Europe had to give to me as a substitute. These are just a few things that I am excited to return to when I go home:
Fun fact: I have not driven in over four months. So, I'm really hoping I remember how to do it when I come back because I have been in a country that drives on the left side of the road.
I cannot wait to go on adventures with friends, to make the four-hour trip to Oklahoma State University and to just enjoy my drive to work with that playlist that gets me ready for the day (ahhh, true bliss). I really hope this break from driving reminds me not to speed anymore because I got a ticket right before I came here.
2. Oklahoma State University
I really really really miss Oklahoma State University.
I miss the school spirit, the beautiful campus, and the fact that you just never know what weather condition you are going to get on any given day. I want to bleed orange and black again, I want to chant "O-S-U" whenever Pistol Pete fires his gun, I want to flash the hand pistol and have someone actually get it and not look at me weirdly. I want to do freaking homecoming already! Good thing I'll be a camp counselor at Camp Cowboy this summer.
3. (American) Football
If you know me at all, you know that I'm not usually one for watching sports, but I just need to say: I REALLY MISS FOOTBALL.
Sadly, it's the only sport I really care about watching because once you have been to a college football game, you always want to go back. So, catch me at all the OSU games this fall, decked out in the most obnoxious Cowboy gear because it is happening.
Here in Europe, the school spirit for their sports is nonexistent compared to the U.S. schools, so I am really excited for football season to begin.
It's not that I don't like soccer or rugby, it's just that I don't.
I really need money. I have blown through WAY too much of it over here, and I know Bank of America is cringing every time I swipe my card, but you only study abroad once, as they say (sorry mom). This summer I cannot wait to lifeguard because I'll get to work a lot of hours for a lot of pay for a lot of sun.
I just need to remember not to spend any of the money. Easier said than done, though.
5. Good Food
I really miss good food. Sure, on the weekends I'll go out because my dining hall is not open, but the food over here in the U.K. is nothing compared to what I have back home.
For one thing, there's not really any Mexican food restaurants around here (makes sense considering how far apart the two countries are from each other). And for another, they really do not know what spice is. They'll slap that word on anything that has even the barest trace of a pepper in it, and it's just no.
When I go home, I'm going to Torchy's, Fuzzy's, Chuy's, Taco Bell, Posado's... actually just every Tex-Mex restaurant in Frisco, Texas.
I miss my dog more than anyone else back home, and I'm not even sorry about that. I mean look at that face!
Even though she's going to be super angry with me when I get home--she'll look at me studying abroad as abandoning her--I'm still going to shower her with love, car rides and walks. Hopefully, Hurricane does not smell all of the dogs and cats I have pet over here... I just really miss my best friend.
7. The Sun
I am probably going to regret saying this, but I am looking forward to the sun always being out and it being so hot you feel like you're on fire (yeah, I'm going to regret saying this).
I have never gone this long having to wear my heavy coat places when I go outside, and I sure have never gone this long in the year having to wear pants because, apparently, Europeans think it's really weird to wear shorts when the temperature is only at 40 degrees (that is 4 degrees Celsius for my international readers).
I knew that the U.K. sees a lot of rain, and I love rainy days, but I don't want every day to be a rainy day.
8. Aspen Coffee Company
It is my absolute favorite place in Stillwater, Oklahoma. All four locations. It's not even just its coffee that I am excited to have again (because the coffee in Europe is equal, if not sometimes better than theirs), but also its atmosphere and the fact that I just know the place and buy all their shirts.
I cannot wait to study there and catch up with friends and to have that Ludicrous Latte with the veggie wrap and a cinnamon roll.
Yeah, I really love Aspen. It's kind of (not) a problem.
9. The Dollar
This will sound stupid, especially since I have already gotten the basics of the conversion rate for the currency over here, but I really can't wait to spend money with the U.S. dollar again. I'll miss seeing Queen Elizebeth's face in my wallet, for sure, but I am perfectly fine with it if I get to see Lincoln and Washington. There will be less change when I get home, and it will be another thing that I just know and will be familiar.
10. My Friends
There are too many of you to name, but I have missed every single one of you. So, when I get back you better be ready to hang out all the time because I had to go an entire semester without you guys, and I am so excited to see y'all!
I'll be clingy if I have to be. We're going on road trips, to concerts, to games, to parties--everywhere together.
11. My Family
Last but certainly never least, I am excited to see my family again.
Without them, this entire experience would not have happened. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for supporting me throughout this entire experience, and thank you, Ryan, for wishing me luck on my travels, too. When I get home, I will try every day to show you guys how much I missed you, how much I appreciate y'all and how much you three mean to me. Love you!
I guess I am more ready to go home than I thought I was, but I am also not ready just yet. I'm going to miss everything I gained over here and every person I befriended as well.
You're all amazing, and if I could bridge my two worlds together, I would in a heartbeat.