Last week was Thanksgiving and that was the first time that I have felt homesick abroad. The day started out like every normal Thursday, but pretty soon I was bombarded with Thanksgiving texts, snapchats, and social media posts, reminding me how far away I was from the long table in Maine that fit my family.
Luckily, my friends and I had already planned a Friendsgiving. One of our British friends wanted to host an American Thanksgiving, and he cooked us a wonderful meal. We all pitched in and brought miscellaneous items, and had a wonderful night filled with many laughs.
It got me thinking about how grateful I am to have been given such a wonderful semester away from home. I have been so HAPPY for the past few months. I will never forget St Andrews or Scotland, and will hold every day here close to my heart.
However, I realise that every good thing has to come to an end, and my abroad end is swiftly approaching. Throughout the semester I’ve made a mental checklist of all of the things I am “taking” back with me when I return home. The things that have changed me, and made me happier.
Sarah’s Return Pack List
- Spend more time in nature. Hikes, walking by the beach, etc. have been moments of absolute contentedness at St Andrews. I already made a list of local hikes I want to do at home!
- Walk more. Similarly speaking, in St Andrews I walk everywhere and the fresh air and added exercise has definitely given me a better state of mind. Instead of taking a bus to a place 30 min. away, I will walk!
- Wine and cheese nights. One of my cousins told me that the best way to get to know a place is to literally break bread and share it with people. And she was 100% right. The wine and cheese nights I have had at St Andrews have been so wonderful to take a moment out of my day to stop and be with the people that I care about.
- Quality over quantity. Back at home, I constantly pressured myself to do the MOST in order to be the best. I prided myself on being busy, on having so many friends, etc. But I am honestly happiest when I am not that busy, only see the people I really care about, and have time to smell the roses.
- Keep travelling! If anything, study abroad has only made the travel bug grow. I really would love to return to the States and travel within them. See what my own backyard has to offer.
- Eventually come back 🙂 I am leaving a piece of my heart in Scotland. But I will come back to retrieve it.