Cheers to the Semester

I have successfully finished my semester in Maynooth, Ireland. This semester has been the most amazing experience and I am so grateful for being able to have this opportunity. These 4-5 months have flown by, but not in the sense that I did not try to take in and appreciate each moment and experience because I believe I have. I have done so much in a short amount of time, and there's still so much I want to do and see here in Ireland and in Europe.

I would be lying if I said I didn't want to leave, or that I don't feel like I have found my home, because I have. My friends here are like family and Maynooth itself is a close-knit community. I have considered transferring here to NUIM but after much thought decided it will be better in the long run to return to Saint Mary's and hopefully return to Ireland next summer for an internship!

The green hills never end

I have learned so much in my classes and even more outside of them. Most things are learned when being thrust into an environment to experience it at its deepest source. I still have a lot to learn about the world and life but I am closer than I was. There is so much I can say about Ireland, what I love about the easy-going friendly people and laid back culture. Living here gives you the opportunity to compare and contrast the ways of life to your own. Things about America are sure to get on my nerves such as not being able to buy alcohol, the business of society, not being able to travel internationally as easily, and not being close to all my new friends. But there are things I have missed about America that I have come to appreciate (*Chipotle and Panera). I have come to appreciate my family a lot more, especially being away from them so long.

Throughout my semester I have seen famous and hidden places, met the most random and interesting people and have had many deep philosophical chats in the corners of pubs. I have discussed everything from religion and culture, to government and politics, and life and love with the countless array of people I have come in contact with. I have opened myself up to the possibilities and ideas of this world, while expressing and securing my own beliefs. I have discovered its my dream to live in Europe and have made aspirations do come back for an internship and hopefully grad school!

So lucky to be spending my birthday in Ireland!

So cheers to this entire semester, cheers to all the new friends made: American and International, cheers to all the nights out and being of legal age, cheers to sometimes going to class (and dressing up because there are boys in our classes) and procrastinating in the library, cheers to traveling all around the green hills of Ireland and the other beautiful countries of Italy and Spain, cheers to eating enough fish & chips for a lifetime, cheers to spending Saint Paddy's in Dublin and my birthday here, and cheers to becoming more independent and learning more about myself, the world and my place in it.

For now I will take all the changes I have made and what I have learned back with me and share it with people back home. I will most definitely keep saying my Irish slang I have picked up, keep saying "euro", bring my own bags to the grocery store, watch out for double decker buses, want to walk everywhere and be very confused with the direction of traffic. I will consistently say, "Well in Europe..." or "This one time in Ireland..." and this might become annoying to my friends and family at home, but sorry I am not sorry about it!

I will never forget all the friends and memories I have made here abroad and I am looking forward to when I can come back to Europe to finish what I started here. I am excited to see my friends and family in America after almost 5 months away and having the whole summer ahead of me!

Goodbye for now Ireland