I have always been, like many people, caught between two impulses when it comes to change. On the one hand I think life becomes immeasurably richer when you seek out new experiences, and new people to come in time to understand. But I’m also sad when a period, any period, of my life comes to a close. There’s something powerfully upsetting about leaving things behind, especially when you know that there’s little to no chance of recapturing those things in any meaningful way. The things I’m leaving behind when I cross back over the ocean in a few weeks; places, opportunities, and most importantly of all, people, are things I would never wish to give up. The places here will always conjure happy memories when thought of. I’m thankful to have been given the many opportunities I have been. And I have formed friendships with many of the kindest, most wonderful people I’ve ever been fortunate enough to meet. It’s hard at times to consider that I’ll never be a UMD student again, and that whatever happens I won’t be surrounded by all these great friends anymore. I intend to keep in touch with a great number of people, and I’m certain that many of these friendships will endure even over such great distances. Who knows, maybe I will move back to the States one day, but I do have to accept that it will never be quite the same. Coming over her has been a fantastic, somewhat scary, experience, and I left much behind back home in doing so. In time I’ve come to consider this place a kind of home, and now I have to leave it behind I am glad I came, but extremely sad to be going.
Regardless, I’m happy to have come here, and I feel far richer for the experience. This has, thanks to all the people I’ve met, been without question the best year of my life, and I’m sure I’ll always regard this as one of the formative years for my character. I’ve learned a hell of a lot, seen a great deal, and engaged with people that, though I have already heaped praise upon them, I still have no end of good things to say about. I haven’t necessarily been able to spend as much time as I’d like with everyone, and there’s certainly a fair few people I wish I could have gotten to know better in the short time I had, but I’m confident that I’ve made a good number of lasting friendships. I hope, in time, to come back and see everyone again, and if you’re ever in the London area I’d be more than happy to put you up. I’ve already had a fair share of sad goodbyes, and I’ll go through a few more before I finally leave, but I consider myself more than fortunate to be in the position where I find so much to be sad about now that I’m leaving. It means that I’ve had, and experienced, much worth valuing. I’ve had a rich year, and I hope the effects of my time here, be they intra- or interpersonal, continue to have profound impact on me throughout my life. I’m confident they will. Thanks for the great time you’ve given me America, I hope to see you again sometime soon.