We have now come to the end of my small piece of this blog. I have now been back in the US for two weeks after finishing an intense week of band camp and my first day of senior year. It was surreal to say the least. The last few days in Cambridge and the first few home are a bit of a blur, between the many good-byes, hellos, and sleep deprivation (lots of sleep was caught up on once I was in my own bed). It’s not until you are back home that you realize not only what you missed (and what you forgot to miss), but also what you gained while you were gone. For instance, while I was gone I knew missed my family and pets, but I didn’t realize how much I missed being able to just pick up one of my favorite books up off the shelf or call my best friend whenever I wanted. At the same time, coming home made me realize how used I had gotten to moving constantly, always thinking of the next destination. Staying still in one place was surreal, and although I had come to enjoy my new sense of independence, I realized how nice it was to sit still and just breathe.
My first day of school back at UF was also a slightly strange experience. The rhythm of my school life both fits and doesn’t at the same time. Everything is so familiar, but I’m seeing everything through a new lens. It’s not a bad different, though, and I’m not sad either. Rather, I find it exciting, and I can’t wait to take on my senior year. I’ll definitely miss Cambridge with its magnificent libraries, its Shakespeare in the Park, and its afternoon tea times, but I’m also looking forward to the work, friendships, and memories I’ll make during my last here at UF. It’s strange when I think about it, actually. This time next year I’ll be an alumni out in the workforce. My formal education will be over, at least until I eventually go to grad school in a few years. If there is one thing I have learned over this summer, though, it’s this: even if my time in a classroom is done, my education never will be. Life is filled with continuous learning: I’ll meet new people, go to new places, learn about new cultures, and I will continue to expand my understanding. Moreover, I’ll push onward, make mistakes, and learn from them, for while tomorrow is a foreign city, I won’t let that scare me; I will explore it with a confident step, an open mind, and a smile.
But, you know, that’s a story for another time.