And just like that, four months have passed. When we first arrived at Prague, we had more than 100 days to spend in this beautiful city, and now we only have 15 more days. What’s more, after I return home, I’ll be done with half of college. Come September, I’ll be starting my second half. It feels like it took forever for me to finally become a junior in High School, and yet here I am, ending my sophomore year of college in the blink of an eye.
At times like this, I fight this inner battle within myself – just how fast do I want time to move? A part of me doesn’t want college to end; the real world is so intimidating and stressful to think about. But another part wants to start a new chapter in my life, a chapter not dictated by a number on my transcript. Knowing that one test can have such a huge impact on my future is terrifying, and quite frankly, unreasonable. I’d be okay with spending another month in Europe, but I’m also ready to go home.
During these four months of study abroad, I’ve really learned and experienced a lot. Of course, not everything went my way. I spent a whole weekend traveling to the middle of nowhere in hopes of seeing the Northern Lights, but it was way too cloudy. But I also got to experience some unforgettable memories, such as driving ATVs in Santorini and visiting Disneyland Paris. And most of all, I learned that sometimes, it’s okay to experience life yourself. Throughout my past few years, I’ve always had a best friend with whom I was completely comfortable; I could always go to them for anything. But in Prague, I noticed that I wasn’t able to create that kind of bond with anyone. And yes, it was upsetting when I realized that, but through that realization, I’ve been able to become my own anchor. I could still message my friends, but it’s different when they’re not there with you in person.
On a brighter note, because I wasn’t faced with the constant workload from classes in the city, I had more time to express my creative side this semester. Throughout the semester, I recorded clips from my travels and edited them into videos. People would be surprised when I told them I’d spend up to 2-3 hours editing these videos, and tell me “I wouldn’t have the time for that,” but for me, I enjoyed editing these videos. It was liberating, because I never had the time for this back in New York. I also got to take an Intro to Photography class, and being able to spend two hours in the complete darkness of the darkroom, with nothing but a red light dimly illuminating the room, it was oddly peaceful. I enjoyed those moments when I got to just sit behind the enlarger, not having to worry about making conversation with anyone.
Luckily for me, my European adventures are not ending as early as the rest of my peers. My mom will be visiting me at the end of the semester, and we’ll be traveling Italy for a week before flying back to New York. But with my flight back home booked, it’s time to look forward to everything that I loved about living in the Big Apple – the food. Ramen, Chipotle, seafood, you name it. And let’s not even begin with all the desserts featured on Facebook videos that my friends have been constantly tagging me in.
But with that having been said, thank you Europe for an unforgettable four months. Na shledanou Praha!