My blog entry today isn't about a specific adventure I've had or a big event. Today is more about things that I've learned since I've been studying abroad; or rather, one lesson that has stood out the most. I've learned that when you're in a place or a situation that's unfamiliar and you're feeling lost, the best thing you can do is find some tiny familiar thing to hold on to. One of the reasons I was glad to go home in January for two weeks was because it allowed me to get my feet back on the ground a bit. I could focus both on what I loved about America as well as what I love about living here in England. Along that same line, I'm also very very glad that I decided to randomly audition with Loco Show Co. here in Worcester. Getting to be in theater again has given me something to look forward to as well as allowed me to meet some truly amazing people. And more recently this group has given me the chance to do something I always wanted: play the lead in a show. That's right, I'll be playing Julia in Loco's production of The Wedding Singer. We just started rehearsals, and already I can hardly contain my excitement. When classes get hectic or I get a little homesick, Loco is what I hold on to. So I guess that's my advice to anyone who is thinking about studying abroad or moving to a new place or trying anything new really. You don't have to forget who you are or where you came from to have a fresh start. In fact, it's probably better if you don't. We can't just float around and not be attached to anything; something has to tie us to where we are, where we've been, and where we're going.
February 2012 Archives
After six weeks of a wonderful winter break, it's back to the ol' grind of class, rehearsal, friends, and shenanigans. But before I talk about what lies ahead, here's a recap of what I did on break:
After my trip to Dublin I spent a week back in the flats just relaxing and getting in the Christmas spirit.
Cassandra, Michael and I headed to Twycross on the 22nd to spend Christmas with our flatmate Gabriel's family. We got to visit the Twycross zoo, eat lots of wonderful food, and get to know his family. They really made us feel like we were part of the family, which was exactly what we needed being so far from our own families. It was funny learning all the little traditions that are different from what we do back home. We watched "The Snow Man", a popular silent cartoon, got sugar mice in our stockings, and wore paper crowns from our Christmas crackers all through Christmas dinner.
After Christmas we headed to Roisin's near Oxford for New Years. I think the thing that surprised me the most about it was when we turned on the television for the countdown it was a broadcast of the big New Year's celebration in London. All my life I've always watched the ball drop in New York on TV, I never really thought about what they did in other parts of the world. Michael, Roisin and I also stayed up until 6am so that we could celebrate Minnesota New Year.
The week after New Year's our friend Katlyn from UMD came to visit! Once she got over the horrific jet lag we showed her around our new home in Worcester. We checked out the cathedral and the High Street as well as our favorite pub.
January 9th I had to get up obnoxiously early to hop a train to the airport for my trip home. After a train ride, an 8 hour flight, a layover that included making friends with a pigeon, and a 3 hour flight, I was finally home :)
I know some people who have been in this program before have said that they're glad they didn't go home or that they regretted going home, but I was so glad that I did. I spent two weeks back in Minnesota relaxing and reconnecting with my friends and family, and I will never regret it. Believe it or not, being foreign is truly exhausting at times. Everywhere we go we're constantly being either teased or asked a LOT of questions. It's really fun and interesting, but it was nice to go home and not have the public stare at me as soon as I start talking. By the time I left to come back to Worcester, however, I had just begun to get bored and was ready to come back.
And this week we're back in class!