I arrived at the Dublin airport one week ago. Sleep deprived and delirious, I got on the bus and listened to a bunch of people talking in different languages. I could not understand my bus driver, so I missed my stop at Trinity college. I got off on the next one, and the bus driver told me how to get there, but, again, he talked so fast I couldn’t understand. In the loud, bright, colorful, chaotic, moving city I went in the direction he pointed and passed a squad of pre-teen, uniformed, Catholic school children. They coldly snapped at me to get on the left side of the sidewalk. I felt like an outsider. After asking three people for directions, I found Trinity college.
Everything was moving so fast, and the world seemed so big and complicated, and I was so overwhelmed. Not to mention I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours. There were so many things to do, places to go, people to talk to, instructions to follow, and necessities to purchase.
One week later and all I can say is that studying abroad is one of the best experiences a student can have. We just spent the weekend in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and I feel like I’ve known the people on this trip my entire life. When we came back to Dublin, I felt like I was arriving home. It seemed familiar to me—in just one week! I am writing this blogpost as I do my homework. This doesn’t feel like a trip. It feels like this is life now.
The most important thing I have learned this week really has nothing to do with Ireland. It is that you can truly be friends with anybody. It is like all the students on this trip are in a bubble and no one really knew each other before we got in. And since we are all are in the same situation, everyone wants to be each other’s friend. Life is a beautiful thing, and studying abroad is like zooming out on it to get a bigger picture.