This period of goodbyes has become so much of a routine in my life that it really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal anymore. Over the years I learned that people come and go and that there isn’t much I can do to alter that. In this case it isn’t even a real goodbye, because most of my classmates will be back in New York next semester, so the people that are meant to stick around for the long haul probably will and those that aren’t won’t. I’ve been through some real goodbyes where I realized that the person I had seen almost everyday for years would become a friend that I see once or twice a year at best. Those are the hard ones and the ones that stick in the back of your mind. I am sure I will go through a few more of those as my school career comes to a close in a couple of years, but until then I hope to take at least a few of the friends I made here back to New York and into a new semester.
I think the semester went almost exactly the way I thought it would. I had laid out my goals in the beginning and I pretty much nailed it, pending finals. I saw what I wanted to see and experienced the growth that I wanted to have this semester. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses though. I had more academic turmoil than I ideally might have liked to have, but in the end I think I pulled through fine. Other than that, I think Sydney really treated me well. I especially liked the close proximity to the beach. It is something I thought I might like before I came, but it turned out I underrated how much I appreciated that I could go get some fresh ocean air on the weekends. This has affected me so much that I am strongly considering to change my future trajectory in order to include close proximity to a beach. Although we will see if that fantasy survives through next semester back in New York, because I do still love that city. Taking a broader perspective I don’t think that I learned anything particularly life altering while I was here that I wouldn’t have learned while staying in New York. I believe this has lot to do with fact that my first abroad experience was going to the US for boarding school, so I learned a lot of the things other people learn abroad then. I really just enjoyed my time here more than anything, which I do think is easier when you don’t really have to deal with the ups and downs of traveling because you have been in that headspace many times before.
Lastly, I think this Art of Travel course ended up being worth my time. I wasn’t a fan of all the topics, but some of them definitely made me stop and think about things I might never have given second thought to. Also, I do think it was good for me to have something that I had to be consistent about every week. It is small point of structure, but it was always a sort of reminder that the new school week had started. Again, it wasn’t all good and I was definitely annoyed at times, but in the end I think because of the few insights I gained, this course was worth it.