I had a very busy few days at the end of last week visiting one of my best friends at her uni in Canterbury, from Thursday to Friday, and then my boyfriend in Bath, from Saturday to Sunday (two very nice areas and universities, I should add). It wasn’t until I was on the train home on Sunday that it dawned on me how little time I have left until I leave and how much I’ve got to get done before then. For these last few weeks I’ve been focusing on spending as much time with as many people as I can; which has been lovely but also completely unproductive. I think previously I’d been a bit delusional about how far away the 5th of October really was. But now, it’s exactly a week until I leave and I could not be more unprepared.
Mentally, I’ve been ready for this trip since two years ago when I decided it was what I was going to do. For some reason, it’s really never been a big deal to me, contrary to all the reactions I’ve had when I’ve told people. I think a few people have been a bit disappointed when they’ve asked me, eagerly “How are you feeling about America?” and I just go: “Er, I don’t feel anything really”.
But I am starting to get excited now, and the only scary part for me is the commitment. It’s a whole year. It’s not like going to university in England where yes, it lasts three or four years, but coming home is an actual possibility. Living in a different continent doesn’t exactly make it easy to pop home for a roast dinner every few weekends.
I already miss living down the road from my best friend, Daisy, who moved to Cardiff just over a week ago. Whose wardrobe am I supposed to raid now when I’m stuck for an outfit? (Just kidding, Dais, I exploit you way more than just for your clothes.) I’m also going to miss how my group of best friends (who haven’t changed since primary school) have always lived within a ten minute radius from each other and our regular ‘wine and hot tub’ nights. I’m going to miss James, of course, and Issie and Laurel and probably a lot of unexpected people too. I’ll miss my double bed, my mum’s home cooked meals and my insane family. Although genuinely, I think what I’ll miss the most is just being able to text my brother, any time I’m bored, and then him appearing instantly out of his bedroom so we can make tea and biscuits and watch TV together. I’m not kidding; we have an episode of Fear the Walking Dead to watch when he gets home later and I’m more excited about that at the moment than spending the whole of next week in New York.
But anyway, I know that this year is going to keep me busy and I’ve never suffered from homesickness before, but I have prepared myself to miss people, as well as the things that I’ve become accustomed to here in my comfort zone. That’s what this year is about really: experiencing a large amount of change in one go so that I can really challenge myself and get a sense of what I’m capable of and what I want to do for the rest of my life.
But for now my priorities are: buying a suitcase, putting my stuff in it, and then getting all the other nitty-gritty bits ready for myself. I can think about ‘the rest of my life’ next week.