After a week of visitors and a Canadian Thanksgiving, I sat in front of my computer and settled in to study for midterms. I am happy to have something to keep me focused on why I am here.
Starting the week off with being invited to a Thanksgiving with some friends I had made from church was so fun. They even turned on reruns of Friends, Thanksgiving episodes, so we laughed together and I felt like I was almost at home. Although Canada does not take Thanksgiving as seriously as the United States I must admit it made a lot of sense to celebrate thankfulness for harvest in harvest season… but all the same, it is those moments I am reminded how wonderful my community here is. But time here does not always feel full and lovely like the holiday was.
Honestly, I am a little lonely. I love the friends I have made here. I love the city and the life I have here. I love my schedule and my classes. But there is a hole where spending time with old friends used to be. Having a history with someone and memories to look back on is a kind of experience that is equally as wonderful as making the memories in the first place. So now, after saying goodbye to my boyfriend and my family it is bittersweet to turn back to my city alone, I feel the homesickness that I knew would come.
Now that I am seven weeks in-country I have crossed the halfway mark of the semester. The time has flown by but I hardly noticed how all that time I spent exploring I was looking for activities to share with my visitors, trying to see the city through their eyes and anticipate what they would like best to do. Now, I get to walk through places we have been together and look back on memories made. A disorienting change, but fun all the same.
I wouldn’t trade this experience for any other, but study abroad is not without it’s cost. Another difficult thing in this experience has been missing my engineering community, study groups, knowing who to ask for help on what topic. Now in my junior year of coursework everyone else has those connections yet mine are half a continent away… I have been totally blessed and surprised by the kindness I have found here all the same. This week for midterms a few study groups have been found and I am hopeful my last two midterms will go well.
With that, I will get back to studying but leave this record for those contemplating a big move or travel abroad.