It’s now March and I finally I’ve returned home for good, or at least for now, after a year abroad in the Netherlands. While most of my fellow students returned home in December, university terms are somewhat different to those we’re used to at home and I was required to stay for an extra month of classes and then, wretched exams.
Life moves at a different pace there and while I gradually adjusted to the flow of the days, something inside yearned more and more for home as the term went on. Classes changed weekly and long bitter cycles in the Dutch cold each morning did little for the soul. The energy and excitement of the beginning of the semester was replaced with a sense of embitterment that while I was lugging in -12 to exam halls some 15km from university, my friends were already back in UL and getting back into the flow of college life in Ireland.
Now home, I’m still somewhat out of mix with things here, struggling with building codes I once knew off by heart and staring blankly at updated university websites I now have to learn to use again.
Despite all this wallowing, I am positive about my experience as a whole and delighted to be home, I just need to give myself more time to get into the ebb of daily life in Limerick. My year abroad has allowed me to grow far more and far quicker than I ever would have abroad and allowed me a sense of independence I never knew I could have at this stage of my life. So for all the vices that co-op and Erasmus brought, it returned tenfold to me in terms of experience and ambition to make my way on my terms.