Wow it’s the last post. To be honest I’m going to miss the private, yet openness, of this blog. This semester, and overall year, has been one of the most exciting, adventurous, and blessed experiences I’ve ever had. I’ve explored so much of Europe in a short span of time, learned so much and read so many books (over thirty), grew as a writer, developed thicker skin and the ability to feel comfortable being on my own, and have been exposed to so many different cultures. I still feel like there is so much I can do in London. I wouldn’t have mind spending a year here, and am going to try to squeeze as many more sites/experiences out of the remaining two weeks I have left.
This Blog has been the platform for me to contextualize my thoughts and experiences. I’ve kept a travel journal since I went to Paris for the first time in 2012. This blog made me think about ideas I wouldn’t have normally thought about, like my daily routine and what it feels like to be an outsider. I appreciate this, because I will be able to look back and see how I developed over time, and remember my experiences vividly. For me, writing is one of the strongest ways to access memories and emotions. Pictures are great, but the emotion attached to them is what I never want to forget. I wish I could take this course back in NY, because honestly when I first came to NYU, and even now, I feel like I was living a studying abroad experience. NYC is so different from my past homes: Rochester, Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, etc. In New York I felt like I was constantly challenging myself.
Being a RA. Being a RA while abroad has been an interesting and wild roller coaster. Certain parts of the experience I loved, certain parts I could live without. Now that I’m reflecting, RA-ing took up a good amount of my time and really shaped my experience. I planned nearly ten events this semester, I’ve gotten to know my residents at Byron pretty well, and just feel equipped to tackle being a RA at Second Street (will anyone be living there?). So yeah, I struggled at certain points, but overall the experience was novel and I will never forget it. There’s so much I could say about this, but I will save this for a post on my personal blog.
Academics. Jesus take the wheel. One course is trying to slay my chaste GPA. My classes were reading and writing intensive. I knew this coming in, and I did my best to keep up with readings and make the effort to improve my writing. That said, the academics at NYU London are actually difficult. The professors have different expectations, the classes meet once a week, and the work load is different. Some people are doing great, while others struggle. I dropped a course this semester (first time) and considered taking another course pass/fail (I resisted, but the temptation was new to me). I usually have this fear at the end of the semester—I tell myself that this is going to be my worst semester—but with having non-NY professors for the first time, I don’t know what to expect. I’m going to have faith though!
The only other issue I have with NYU London is the fact we don’t take classes with British students. I repeatedly asked myself, what is the point of studying in London if I ‘m just going to be studying with American students? It’s an issue I had to deal with for a couple of weeks, and the conclusion I came up with is that I could either do what I normally would do back in New York, or I could do it in a new country, surrounded by a different culture. Still, I wish NYUL gave us the option to take classes at SOAS or ULC in the spring.
I’ve caught the travel bug from being here. The day after NYUL ends I head to Florence to take poetry courses. After that, I have a couple of days off and then head to LA to teach some creative writing courses at LMU. What I’ve realized by going abroad, is that the world is as small as I want it to be and nothing is impossible. It sounds cheesy, but it’s like I’m slowly discovering these superpowers that I’ve always had, but never knew existed. That said, I’m already planning next year’s January term, spring break, and summer trips! When I go back to NY I feel like I will have such an enhanced sense to explore. I already have my NY bucket list for my last two years of Uni, and I want to approach NY how I approach London—a big opportunity to explore and grow.
Lastly, thank you all! I have loved reading your posts and comments, and learning about the experiences of other NYU students abroad. I appreciate your insight and tips, and plan on utilizing them as I visit the places you’re studying. Cheers and Blessings to an insightful semester!
- Paragliding over Interlaken: Michael Frazier