Change is something that I am not usually a fan of and I am definitely not looking forward to the 7-hour plane ride home. The actual process of the plane isn’t really the thing I’m dreading, but more the actual leaving. Ireland has become my new home and to leave this new home after all that I have experience here is awful.
Over the four and a half months I have been here I have grown a custom to the very things I thought of as different or strange when I first arrived, like the flow of traffic or the different accents. All the things I was used to, that I had grown up with in America, were no longer present in the same way. I was therefore alone, but being alone turned out to be a good thing. Slimbach states that “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within” (p.54) As so much changed around me I dwelled into the only thing that was constant at the time, myself. I accepted the weakness and vulnerability that came with my new surroundings and used it to better myself. As I learned about the different world around me, I learned more and more about whom I am and how I thought about the different things affecting my life past and present.
In Ireland I was able to meet people from all over the world, specifically Ireland, and gain perspectives from them I would never have achieved at home. It was scary being among such a diverse group of people; I initially felt I did not have that much to offer to the conversation. But after much talking and learning between my culturally diverse friends I was able to see my worth in the global conversation. I was also able to change my perception on different parts of the world I had previously, changing my inner mind while experiencing the outer world. With the help of my new friends I was able to understand better the different perspectives of different areas of the world and bring that into my own thought process.
These friends that I have met over the semester have given me so much. From offering me different perspectives from various parts of the world to going on adventures around Ireland, we have been through a lot. That’s why the separation from these people is going to be extremely difficult. The many different groups of friends whether it be my roommates form Germany, my new friends from Quinnipiac, my friends from different parts of America, or my friends from Ireland all have planned for a celebration of sorts before the finale of our journey comes. And as the end draws closer and closer, the goodbyes will indefinitely become harder and harder. I have realized that some of these people I may not see again despite the amazing and unforgettable times we have had together. I have had the opportunity to know some of them very well and others I haven’t had the opportunity to know enough. Either way the goodbyes will be hard, but that is why each goodbye is going to be part of a celebration. There’s no point in crying about our time being over because that takes away from time we could still be valuing together.
That’s why all of the different groups of friends have decided to celebrate and as the Irish say “Cheers”. Cheers to the times we had, cheers to the times we argued, cheers to the times we’ll miss together, and cheers to seeing each other soon.