Saying Goodbye to Bath: Reflections from my Study Abroad Experience
I left Bath this morning. It was the most bittersweet thing ever—saying goodbye to people that I had bonded with and connected with for the past four months and yet being so excited to come back home and see people I’ve known and loved forever. It’s strange to think that four months ago, none of these people were in my life and yet I’m leaving them today with a profound sense of sadness. I know that I’ll stay in contact with a handful and that I’ll probably visit a few. But other than that small group of people, I’ll most likely never see anyone that I studied abroad with again. And I will certainly never be back in Bath, in the living room of our house, laughing so hard that I cry with this group of remarkable weirdos.
This whole semester has surpassed by expectations for study abroad. I didn’t expect to connect to other people the way I did; I didn’t think leaving would be so sad. I came to England thinking I would study and travel and spend a lot of time exploring Bath. And while I did do all of those things, the moments that I’m going to take away from these four months are completely removed from the notions I had when I arrived here. When I think back to studying abroad in England, I’m going to remember the time our entire program got lost hiking in Wales, or the fact that I spent the entire semester with a horrible cough, and I am definitely going to remember the Dreidel drinking game we played to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah.
I have a lot of friends from home who are studying abroad this coming semester. Before I left for England, I probably would have given them the same standard advice about having new experiences and seeing the world and blah blah blah. Now though, I think I’ll say something different. I’ll tell them that the people you spend time with this semester will change you and that sounds exaggerated but it’s not. They will change how you see yourself and how you see everyone around you. And saying goodbye to them will be unbelievably hard.