Being a Real Adult™ (23 April–20 May)

An entire month in one post? Yes, that is adulthood. Well, actually, that’s the product of me being close to around-the-clock busy for the past month. Back in the last week of April and the first week of May, I completed and handed in my final school project. That was that! I’m still waiting to have my final summative assessment review on Monday, but I am, for all intents and purposes, finished with my undergraduate degree—a whole year earlier than I was planning for! Since then, I’ve really just been adjusting to life outside of school with some contract work for a job that I’ve started, and getting ready to move my life back across the Atlantic Ocean. For now, that looks like getting rid of the big things that I’ve acquired while here and that will not be making the journey back with me. I’m donating my guitar, which has actually made me quite sad. I know that I still have my guitar back in Seattle, but I have come to love this one just as much. Aside from fun times playing for the sake of playing, it did help me when I was feeling out of place.

Feeling out of place is one thing I will not be taking back with me. These past four weeks have also seen a lot of reflection about my time spent here abroad and how I’ve changed and grown. I didn’t quite understand the cliché of the life-changing study abroad experience, and while I did not do what is perhaps typical of regular study abroad programs (moving and transferring entirely whilst alone is certainly different), I am absolutely positive that I am better for it. In fact, I would not have wished it any other way. Of course, that’s hindsight speaking, because if you had asked me in November if I thought that moving to Scotland was the right choice, I would have had a shaky, canned yes followed quickly by a halfhearted explanation about how it was a good opportunity for me to learn and grow. Now, I can say with confidence and clarity that it was, without a doubt, the best decision I’ve ever made for myself.

Not only was moving abroad the best decision I could have made, but it was the biggest and scariest risk with the greatest payoff to date. That’s another funny thing about risks—the rocky beginnings and sometimes equally rocky middles seem to resolve into either stellar, shining endings, or rockbottom endings. I am fortunate that I have experienced the former. I don’t mean that in a self-perpetuating way, but rather in definitive opposition to how it could have gone. I was not sure what to expect when I left Seattle last September, but when I read back both my One Line A Day entries and my blog entries here on this WordPress, I recognize just how much better things have gotten. I can attribute a lot of growth to living alone and figuring things out for myself in a foreign country, as well as being on a cusp—a life transition—which necessitates growth.

Figuring out things like meal planning and grocery shopping, workout/active activities routines, social time, work time, and down time had to happen all at once, and I’m quite pleased that I am where I am. That being said, I’m sure I still have quite a lot to figure out, although now, I’m more aware of what I do have figured out and what could use some work. When I move home, I’m not sure where I’ll be living yet. I also have quite a bit to do here, first. Packing is a lot of work but always something that I enjoy; it’s both an ending and a beginning, and involves a lot of organization. It’s also a chance to get rid of things that I no longer want, which is becoming one of my favorite activities. I haven’t decided if I’ll keep this blog going; part of me thinks it would be fun to continue it, part of me is worried about not wanting to when I get back, and part of me thinks that I might not prioritize it enough once I’m back. I think I’d ideally write occasionally just to keep a small record of my life. Then again, I was just fine without it. So for now, I have a busy week ahead, and will tackle that head-on.

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