Hello! This has been a long time coming and since getting back into the swing of studying and catching up with friends here in Humboldt I’ve been very bad at keeping this blog updated! My time at HSU is going so quickly, and even though I’m almost halfway through the Spring semester now, I’m going to talk about my time back at home over the Christmas holiday.
First of all, I am so grateful for being able to get home for Christmas. I had such a great time getting to see my family, my boyfriend, friends, and cats! I think I really would have struggled staying in America for the whole month that we had off and the trip home really helped put things back into perspective, realising that ‘real life’ is still functioning. It was great to be looked after at home for a few weeks. As well as home comforts, biscuits, squash, crumpets, etc… I loved getting to see most of my family at Christmas parties as that is something I would have really felt left out of if I had had to stay in the US.
When I landed back at Heathrow (just missing the drones), I wasn’t too sure what to expect or how much time I would need to adjust. Strangely, I found that everything felt completely normal as soon as I got back. I don’t think I really experienced reverse culture shock and it almost felt like I hadn’t been away at all. It was also great to see my boyfriend and catch up with him face to face rather than over Skype! With Sam in his last year it has been interesting navigating the different pressures we’re under, but getting to go to the cinema and relax was really good, even if I did underestimate the power of jet lag and managed to sleep through half of the film!
During the month I also made it back down to Southampton to see some friends and speak to my PAT. Talking about my plans for final year was really exciting and it was great to see my my friends who I used to sit in lectures with. But I’m also aware of wanting to enjoy the rest of my year abroad before I think too much about getting back to So’ton next year!
Whilst I was back at home, a friend I made in Humboldt came to the UK to visit some other year abroad students who he knew from last year. He came down to London and I got to show him the sites and share a bit of British culture with him which was really fun. It also reassured me that the end of my year abroad doesn’t have to mean the end of the friendships I’ve made here. I can’t wait to show more friends around the UK once I’ve convinced them all to visit me!
After such a great holiday, I had very mixed feelings about returning to Humboldt and although I knew I had to go back, I was quite resistant to the idea after finding home so comfortable to back in. I think one of the reasons I’ve put off writing this blog post is because I enjoyed being home so much that I’m trying not to think about what I’m missing out on too much so that I can enjoy my time here more. But despite my hesitations, after a long 32 hour journey back I am loving being in Humboldt again and I can’t begin to imagine how I’m going to say goodbye to this place in a few short months! But that’s for the future, and I don’t have to start thinking about that quite yet.