It’s the final countdown. This is my last week in Prague. It feels so anti-climatic to be honest. It feels, not real at all. Leaving in four days seems like something that can’t be possible. How am I expected to leave the friends that I’ve made? Walk away from a city that I feel in love with? Leave a school that I go to? Say goodbye to weekends of traveling around Europe, meeting new people, buying interesting things? Up until this week I told people that I felt, indifferent about leaving. I told them that it would be bittersweet, but in the end I was ready to go back to America. However, as the days go by, I’m feeling less and less prepared to go back to America, both physically and mentally. I think I’m one of the last people from Susquehanna to still be in their study abroad location. Seeing everyone’s remarks about being at home and how it feels when the journey ends is making me dread the transition even more. I felt horrible when I called my house last night, and my aunt answered the phone and asked if I was ready to come home yet. I replied, “…..not really.” Yes, I miss my family and my friends so much, and there are certainly things that I’m looking forward to doing when I’m back in the states. But, I’m not ready to leave Europe yet. There is so much I still have to do, and I just prefer the way of life here. I think I’m going through a crisis right now, and maybe this is what my program meant when they told us that we might experience some reversed culture shock even before we return home. I feel a lot better than I did yesterday about leaving thanks to a postcard that I received from my friend Kayla. Her postcard made me realize that I really do have a support system to go back to when I return, who will help me with the transition. I talked to my mom about it last night and she simply stated, “It’s just something that we are going to have to deal with”.
Two weekends ago, I traveled to London, where my friend Robin is studying. She had told me throughout the past few weeks that if I ever made it to London, I could stay with her. It worked out perfectly because the same weekend I decided to go, my friend Sam also was in London, and we both stayed with Robin! I was very unsure about going to London, because as I mentioned before I felt very traveled out and thought I should have spent more weekends in Prague. However, just as with the Berlin trip, I felt so happy that I decided to go. I had gone the entire semester without seeing anyone who I had known, so it was refreshing to finally, after over three months, see familiar faces. It was incredible to hear about my friend’s journeys, and what they have experienced this semester. It made me realize that we will all go back to the states a little different from what we left as. I did the typical touristy London things, like visiting the palace and Big Ben. Robin took us to some amazing restaurants too, like this place that we devoted to chicken! I even got to see Les Miserables, a musical I had wanted to see again for quite a long time now. It was an incredible performance, and I felt so blessed that I got the opportunity to see it. Sam had come to London along with a few friends that she made from her program over the course of the semester, and they spent a lot of time with us. I had such a great time with them, and they only added to the list of incredible people who have met on my excursions over the course of these last few months. I seriously want to host a party in twenty years where all of the people I met can reunite, just so I can see them again. Other things I did in London consisted of buying luxurious cupcakes, buying some new clothes, visiting some really relaxing pubs, and seeing even more people from Susquehanna who are in London studying business. Although I might be very eerie about returning to America, I can say that I am still quite exciting to go back to Susquehanna. Seeing everyone that weekend made me excited to enroll in new courses, join new activities, and see the friends who I have missed so much.
Going to London was something that ended up being very special to me in another context. I have been babbling about wanting to explore Europe since I was in preschool. I had especially always mentioned wanting to visit London, and made this very known to my family. No one ever took me very seriously, which I don’t blame them for, except for Erica. Erica was my uncle’s girlfriend at the time, who has since moved to Florida. I haven’t seen her in many years, but she’s still someone who made an impact on my life. I recall sitting in my grandparent’s backyard with Erica, and telling her about wanting to travel when I was older. She took me so seriously, and encouraged me to do it. I recently came into contact with Erica after many years, and told her that I was studying in Prague and visiting many places around Europe. She told me how even though no one else took me seriously and thought I would do it, she always knew deep down that I would. That means so much to me.
This past weekend, I lived at the apartment of my friends Anita and Meghan. Long story short, they allowed me to stay with them because of some issues that I’m having (and can’t really discuss on here). It was, such a great last weekend in Prague. I loved spending time with a lot of people in the program, eating at some restaurants that I haven’t been to (I experienced Mexican food for the first time in my life. OH. MY. GOD), clubbing, and of course I did homework as well =]. It was, a fast-paced weekend, but simple at the same time. Whatever it was, it was incredible and I was content and pleased when Monday came.
On Monday, I had my Czech oral exam. I’m usually extremely nervous about language oral exams, but I went into this one with a “Lets just do this” mentality. I surprised myself, so much. Of course I am by NO MEANS fluent in Czech after a semester of living here, but I was able to have a basic conversation about myself, my semester, my future plans, etc. I think even my professor, who knows that I have struggled in class, was surprised at how I did. So now, my language class is over. My Jewish History course is also over for me now, since I handed in my final paper and did my presentation on the first day. Today, I went to my last Contemporary Czech Culture class. All I have left now is a paper/presentation for my Psychology of Transition and Transformation class, and an exam tomorrow in Art and Architecture. It’s a little unfortunate that my last weekend in Prague has to be completely consumed by schoolwork schoolwork schoolwork. But, I am studying abroad after all.
Before I return to the stars and stripes, I need to do some shopping (for other people, and naturally myself), visit the Kafka museum, go to the Staropramen factory, visit a jazz club, go hang out at the five story club, and soooooo much more. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to accomplish everything, but I’m going to try and do as much as possible. This is turning into such the whirlwind, and its reminding me of how flustered I was when I left to come here. I can’t say enough how it is so hard to believe that in one week I will be sitting in my home, surrounded by my family and friends. Maybe I’m more ready than I thought. We’ll see.