Studying abroad has been a transformative experience, one that has broadened my perspectives and enriched my understanding of the world in ways I never imagined. From navigating new cultures to immersing myself in unfamiliar academic environments, every moment has been a journey of self-discovery and growth. This reflection explores the profound impact of my time abroad and the profound insights I learned along the way.

As I was about to fly out of Kansas City to begin my study abroad experience, I felt sad at the thought of leaving my family and friends for half the summer. The wait of new adventures was overshadowed by the heavy heart I carried, knowing that I wouldn’t see their familiar faces or share our usual moments for several weeks. Now, as the six weeks draw to a close and it’s almost time to return home, I would give anything to stay in London. I have fallen in love with this vibrant city, with its rich history, diverse culture, and the incredible people I’ve met along the way. Every street, park, and café holds a special memory. Living in London was like a breathe of fresh air.

Being in London has brought many powerful insights, but the most significant one is realizing just how much I have outgrown certain things. Thinking about what used to feel like home, didn’t feel the same anymore. I’ve realized how much I’ve changed but everything at home is still the same. And how do you make a new version of yourself fit into an old environment? You can’t. What was once home, no longer felt like home. The familiar walls that once provided comfort now feel confining, and the streets I once roamed with joy now seem too narrow for the dreams I have. The memories, though cherished, belong to a different chapter of my life, and it’s time to turn the page. That’s why I am excited for life after college because I get to leave again. The thought of leaving again, of embracing new adventures and continuing to grow, excites me. I have a newfound independence and adventure within me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love college and where I grew up. I wouldn’t trade my college experience for anything, and I’m excited to return for my final two years. Being abroad has only confirmed how much I have grown and helped me accept that.

As I prepare to leave, I will carry with me the lessons and experiences that have shaped me, but I also leave behind the things that no longer serve me. I am ready to build a life that reflects who I am now and who I aspire to become. This transition marks the beginning of a new adventure, filled with endless possibilities and the promise of a future where I can thrive and continue to grow.

The city has become a part of me, and returning home now feels like another bittersweet farewell, this time to a place that has captured my heart and soul.

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