So, Is that it?
It’s this time of the year. The time you, as an exchange student, realize that something great is coming to the end. You are trying to blend it out, but the thought is always with you. You have to say goodbye soon.
For me it never really was a big deal when I thought about going home. I was sure that I’m going to miss my exchange but I did not expect me to be extremely sad and sensible. And I really was fine! I can remember they told us at the pre orientation seminar that the last three month are going to be the hardest, because you just found your friends and your routine.
No homesickness anymore, no cultural shock, but you start thinking you have to go soon. But they could not prepare us for what was really coming. April and May turned out to be the best month of my exchange experience because of exactly these reasons.
The time was running and I barely could feel it. I still did not think that I could possibly realize my exchange was over before I get to the airport. At the beginning of May I had my prom and I had the time of my life. For my Birthday I got the yearbook of our school from my best friend so I could give it around and get it signed by everybody.
When I read the little note (it was more like a half paged letter) one of my friends left me in there it hit me like a rock. I started crying and I could not stop for hours. I finally realized that it is coming to an end and I have to say goodbye.
I think we all have this moment at one point of our exchange. A moment when you realize that this is going to end soon and you just don’t want it to. But this shows us that our exchange was a great experience and that we had the time of our life.
In between end of the year parties, graduation and other fun things the thought that we have to leave soon stays with us all the time though.
No matter how hard we try to enjoy these last weeks we will always be a little bit melancholic.
Looking back on my exchange year, I can not tell how fast the time was passing. I remember moments where it felt like I was crawling from day to day and thought that it’ll be an eternity until I I’ll be back home. On the other hand time was running and I was just rushing through the month.
The first month you spend abroad you might think that you not going to see your family again that soon, that you will live at this new and strange place for the next period of time and you have so many new experiences you can’t believe would fit in one month, but with the month passing, getting used to everything and getting a routine time flies by.
So far for me my days abroad are over. The last weeks are hard to describe. I tried making the best of the mixed feelings I had. Sometimes I would make jokes of it, sometimes I was sad. But for me it felt important to have these serious moments with my friends and host family and to tell them that I am going to miss them.
I hope that I will see all of them again soon and to keep in touch with them. But I know they will always be there for me, even if we might not have contact in a while.
Because you know your friendships are real as soon as you have to say goodbye. And that this goodbye won’t last forever.
This guest post was written by Andrea Stützer, a German exchange student who is nearly ending her year in the United States.