By Emma Buchman
Student Life Writer
As the beginning of the semester draws closer, I see some of my friends preparing to move back to Washington College early. Some of them are RAs and peer mentors getting ready for training, and others are working for different academic departments on campus. Whatever they’re doing, they are making it more apparent to me just how close the school year is, and with that comes the forced realization that I will be missing an entire year of WC’s life to study abroad.
I’ll be spending fall semester in London with the Hansard Programme and the spring semester in France. Everything is in order that needs to be at this point, and I’m beyond excited for the adventures I will have and the friends I will make. However, I can’t help but dwell on the friends that I already have here in Chestertown. They will have an entire year to spend without me, and I will inevitably fall out of the loop. Additionally, it forces me to think about missing WC as its own entity, and with our new president coming in, I feel disappointed to be missing such a pivotal part of my college’s career. Finally, it saddens me that I will only get three years at this wonderful place. College only comes once to you (hopefully), and I’m essentially missing a quarter of what WC has to offer by being away. Being away from WC, my college friends, not to mention my family and friends from home, is going to be a big problem to confront while I’m abroad. I’ve been away before, but that was back when I was a sourpuss teenager. So what am I going to do to end this storm of self-pity?
My plan is to do my best in making my time abroad feel like a home away from home. I’ll keep my friends with me, and, more importantly, enable myself to have a better time abroad because I won’t be so focused on what I left behind. In order to do this, I first arranged to spend some time with my friends here at WC for a few days, so that we could have closure and they would know that they will continue to be in my thoughts. Secondly, I am planning on communicating over social media with them more than usual. I’m not the best with getting back to people via Facechat, but I’ve been working to overcome that so that I can still keep in touch with my friends as much as possible. I’ll also be bringing some items from home that may take the edge off of being homesick like my favorite DVDs.
Going abroad is an enriching experience that everyone should do at least once in their lives, but it comes with the knowledge that you will be losing time with your friends and family. Homesickness can be a terrible thing to deal with, but if you take the time to prepare yourself, mentally and physically, than you can not only have a fantastic time abroad, but you also feel a little bit closer to the ones that you love. So in conclusion: hug people, pack accordingly, and have an insanely good time while you’re gone. Who knows? You might just find more people to love.
By Emma Buchman