I won’t pretend going back to school after being gone for over a year isn’t hard. Sure, my friends are great and I’m enjoying my classes and living situation so far, but it’s really bizarre being back.
I’m not even sure where to even begin with my observations, so I’ll just jot down some random thoughts that have popped up into my head.
I no longer know anyone on campus.
At Davidson, a small suburban school of about 1800 people, it’s not uncommon to know at least half, if not more of the school. And then recognise the other half. Coming back I recognised nobody. I felt like a freshman all over again and became frustrated at the fact that I’m a senior and didn’t recognise enough people. Hopefully, that will change as I get to know more people on campus!
My friends lived a whole life together at school while I was gone.
I know it might sound petty, but I was really worried about the fact that I hadn’t seen any of my close friends at school in almost a year and a half. Coming back to them has been great, but there have been some challenges. I did miss out on some memories and I feel like I’ve changed and had experiences that they can’t relate to, but I’m hopeful that our fun friendships will continue to grow as the year advances!
I miss British academics.
Man, I did not know what I was missing before I went abroad! I much prefer the British academic style. Davidson is incredibly stressful. In fact, I have 3 essays, 1 test, and a presentation this week alone! And I’m not used to ‘homework’. Or having to do reading for each class every other day. I would take my occasional essays, once a week classes and lectures, and two months of revising for intense final exams at LSE than this! Hence why I’ll be going back to Europe for grad school one day (hopefully!).
Having a full bed is wonderful.
This is the first time away from home that I’ve had a double bed and it is blissful. I’ve taken to sleeping in the middle of my bed just because I can. My room might be incredibly tiny now because of it (barely enough room to move around), but the bed makes it worth it!
I miss Europe.
Being back at Davidson has only solidified my idea that I want to move abroad one day after I graduate. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do (most likely grad school first), but I feel like I fit in more over there. I miss the culture, the diversity, the food, the history, and the politics (for observing). I’m glad I’m spending one more year back at Davidson, but I feel like I’m just biding my time until my next big adventure, be it in America or abroad.
As you can see, coming back to Davidson has been a bit of a roller coaster. My blogging has taken a bit of a toll because I’m still trying to remember how I handled Davidson academics before I went abroad. I’m in some exciting clubs and I’m having fun reconnecting with old friends, solidifying new friendships, and looking at my life with a very comparative lens. I’m interested to see where the year takes me!
Have you had a rough transition coming back after a year (or more) abroad? How did you handle it?