From my third home to my second – by Malina

Having recently got back to London for a few weeks now, a time in which I have relentlessly tried to find a place to live, running across town from lectures to viewings to seminars and so on, I can now say, once settled, that I have truly missed my second home.

Living in Boston and in particularly witnessing first hand the experiences of such a tumultuous time, have truly broadened the eyes through which one sees the world. The warmth with which I have been welcomed, the friendships I have managed to knit together so tightly, I know will last over the years. And the timing of it all, have really made this semester one to remember.

For more than 4 months, I have lived in a world, in which I knew no one, almost terrified at the idea of spending almost half a year there, with no way of going home in between this period. Having gotten used to flying home every Reading week, I found myself having to deal with my homesickness on my own, while managing to adapt to this new life and amazing experience that I was about to embark upon. I truly regret even the thought of considering not to go to Boston. There really is no better time than as an Undergraduate student to take it upon yourself to experience, travel and engage in as many activities and encounters as you possibly can. The regret of not staying longer is already beginning to sink in, as I think back at the people that I will miss dearly, but I am embraced by the hope in thinking that I will be allowed another opportunity, but this time different, unusual and unprecedented, for this is the point of it all.

Thinking at the memories that come back most fervently, I must say it is not a collection of events that come directly into mind, but rather various feelings at various times. The feeling of immense excitement of attending lectures and talks by some of the most inspiring people I had seen, the childish joy of going out for ice cream in the middle of the night, the unimaginable education you gather by befriending people from all around the world and staying up nights on end dissecting habits, signs and languages, while still being mesmerized you did not caught the meaning of something earlier. The feeling of spending Election Night with my American friend, whose phone call with her family following the results, made all of them cry. The way that helplessness almost makes you feel sick when you know there’s no way you can help or amend things. The excitement of talking with my friends and planning our summer vacations around which country everyone is living in. The unpredictability and the longing for the unexpected that makes you feel like you’ve got your whole life ahead.

Living and studying abroad, trying new things and new experiences, is so much more than meets the eye. It is so much more than anxiety, the fear of failing or the possibility of not fitting in. It is opportunity, and it is totally up to you to decide what to do you with it. To end on an overly dramatic note, I will now try to do exactly that and explore the opportunities of My Second Home, now that I have returned, still floating on a bitter sweet feeling.

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