Leaving the University of East Anglia in December was not easy for many reasons. I was trying to wrap up parts of my story that quite frankly, I still reminisce on dearly. But coming back to Hobart had its benefits, luckily in the form of new and old friends. Despite not being on campus, I was actually able to connect with people who were not abroad. I took the initiative to call friends, text them, and really reach out to people who I would usually run into in Saga or the library. In a weird way, not being on campus helped me build friendships.
I remember calling my friend Allie while being at a club in Amsterdam, because our friend Hannah was with me and we wanted to say hi. I would usually FaceTime someone on campus randomly when I was getting ready to go out and we'd laugh remembering all the times computer would go off in class as Netflix was starting off. Then there were the times when I texted friends also abroad planning trips to go see them in their new home. From Germany to Geneva, NY I found myself making friends and rediscovering old ones.
I think one of the biggest benefits abroad gave me was the space and time to work out my FOMO. It's no secret that my life is on the Gram and Snapchat. Why? Well, there is no clear answer, but what I have begun to understand is that this stems from a need to prove myself. I am my biggest critic. I'll often get into my head and say that I am not good enough, fast enough, popular enough, etc. However, when I was in England, it did not matter to anyone who I was before. The Brits loved me for being me. When people say that I brighten their day it truly means a lot, because I'm actually not that sure how I do that.
Coming back from abroad I knew there things I missed. HWS looked different. It felt different. A lot of people were different. My sense of comfort was thrown away even as I stepped back into spheres I thought I knew. My work spaces were different, with new staff and new duties. I got a promotion to being a social media strategist, the first ever at HWS. I thought that in my junior year I would know this school like the numbers and security card of my dad's credit card. Luckily, I was dead wrong.
So many people have been nice to me since being back, and it's been a bit scary! Hope House has become like an unofficial HQ, Wish is always home to the good times, and my Hobart friends are opening doors to the frats. We have all moved up, and I truly feel like I'm moving forward in the right direction. Yet, my semester is not perfect.
Going from 3 classes to 4 has been a huge undertaking. Readings every night, homework every week, and essays every other day. These are the things I forgot existed. Unlike UEA, classes at HWS have me going from 8:30 AM to at least 5 PM, and this is not counting how I have work Sunday to Sunday. I came back jumping through more hoops than ever, but I count this as a blessing because it means I cannot wear sweatpants all day long. I'm always seeing people and getting stuff done. Being so busy helps me not get into my own head and think about that thing I said in first grade that haunts me to this day. I've also been fortunate and found myself spending dinners and lunches with friends, something I never did before! Through planning my days I have found myself making time for things that matter. If that's not being mature, than buy me a pack of Pampers.