Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Pinch Me, I Must Be Dreaming

By Miranda Lindmark, Spring 2017

Three weeks ago I left my home in Kansas to move into a castle and travel the world for four months (I’m sorry, what? Is this real life?) On January 4th, 150 students from all over the world arrived in Grantham, England ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Wide-eyed, tired, and fuelled with wonder and adrenaline, most of us were about to experience something unlike anything we have ever done before.

As the days have passed, the newest class of Harlaxton students is beginning to settle and form a regular routine. Students are getting involved, meeting new friends, preparing for British Studies quizzes, and planning trips all over the world. As I talk to friends & family back home, I continue to be asked questions like, “How is studying abroad?”, “How does it feel?”, “Do you miss home?”, “Are things really different there?”, and more.

Just last week, our Student Development Office asked us all a question. “What has been surprising about your transition?” Throughout the week, students stopped by the question board posted outside of their office to anonymously post their answers.

Here are some of the answers that I read:
“How fast I spent all my money.”
“Food is so good here!”
“No ice.”
“I feel like I’ve been here for so long!! It’s so amazing!”
“I never thought I could be so happy in such a short amount of time.”
“The past two weeks have gone by so slowly, and I love it!”
“My room is freezing all of the time!”
“ I want my mom.”
“What’s up with the heaters?”
“Hot or cold water only.”
“It feels like summer camp now.”
“The sun doesn’t exist here.”
“I am amazed at how beautiful this place is.”

You can see some common themes here. The food is different, the weather is cold, the Manor is beautiful, and being here for two weeks has felt like an incredible eternity…

For me, the biggest thing that has surprised me since arriving has been my mix of emotions. As of now, almost three weeks in, it is hard for me to put many of my feelings into words. I’m living in a gorgeous, Hogwarts-esque manor, in a country thousands of miles from home, meeting incredible people, with countless opportunities in front of me. It has been incredible, scary, exhilarating, exhausting, and wonderful. The entire world is right at my fingertips, and it still seems unreal. I have been thrown out of any sort of comfort zone I once had, and I am loving every minute of it. 

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