A year ago, going to England to study for a semester was merely a thought. Never did I really think it would become a reality. I only wish now that it would have been a year long and not only for a semester. I think that it really hit everyone on Monday December 10.

Saturday December 9 many of us had our first exam which started to shine a little light on the fact that we only had a week left at Essex. At Essex you don’t have a bunch of homework and then an exam or two. You are expected to read certain articles or books each week and show up for class and lecture to discuss the readings. At the end of the term you are to write a final paper discussing one of the topics discussed throughout the term at roughly 2,000 words each. You then also have to take an exam over the course. The exam does not include multiple choice or fill in blanks, they are strictly essay. You are to respond to two questions with an essay per each. It is expected that you will write two to three pages for each response, and even make some references. So they way may final week looked I had exams on Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. With a final paper due on Monday and three due on Thursday, and of course per my usual procrastinating self I did not start the papers until the night before they were do. However, I do feel that I did quite well on everything. Along with all of this I had a test in my Social Anthropology class on Tuesday. One of the most shocking things to me was at the end of my Soc. test on Tuesday. This is a two hour long seminar, so it’s class and lecture put together. Are test was only to last an hour so I figured we would just get out earlier. So this is how it went down. I was sitting there in the front row taking my test and the teacher leaves for about 15 mins, he comes back in with some kind of duffel bag and I was confused on what this guy was doing.  Well right at the hour mark I hear the popping of a champagne bottle. Turns out that every year at the end of the term my teacher brings in things to make mimosas for his classes. So at noon the test was over and this guy was serving us mimosas, that is most definitely something that would not happen back in the states.

Monday is the day when we we all realized it truly was ending. Monday morning George was the first flatmate to leave. The last week was pretty crazy. Only study abroad students had to take exams and turn in their papers that week, the rest of the students had latter dates to turn in their stuff. So as we are trying to study and write papers, everyone else was partying and going out and having a good time celebrating with their friends one last time before break. This only added to the stress levels of my flatmates and allowed me to procrastinate a little longer. Tuesday the climbing club had their club Holiday Dinner. We went to Tony Carvery’s, this is like a buffet sort of deal. You get four cuts of meat anything you want and then you are able to get corn, mash, stuffing, rolls, green beans, and pretty much any other side dish you can think of and you can go back as many times as you want to refill on sides. It was pretty delicious and we ended up staying there for about three hours just hanging out. To finish off the night about 15 of us went to the SU Bar for one last time.  the rest of the week was spent doing studying and writing. Thursday was a day we were all waiting for, everyone’s last final was at 6pm that night. So we decided that once everyone is done with their exams that we would have a flat night. We would spend our last night with everyone in our flat just us hanging out, it was a great night! The next morning is when the second member would leave, so we said goodbye to Amanda Friday morning. During the day Friday Bethany, Sydney, Andrew, and I went into Colchester for one last time. We decided that we should go see the Hobbit so we did. We then got back to the flat and prepared our selves for a night out. We knew that the last night there that we would have to take in England and all it’s glory one last time. Niki and I decided that we would invite some climbing people over and then everyone would go to SU bar and back to our place after that, so that’s what we did.

Saturday morning was the day that this mere thought became a reality that was ending. We first said goodbye to Gladys and then an hour later it was Dom and I’s turn to leave. We said farewell and the girls cried. We had booked a bus to take us to Heathrow airport so that we didn’t have to mess with all of our luggage on the trains. The bus ride took a few hours and we were glad that we had a little time to talk and nap before our final destinations. We finally go to the airport and walked awhile until we came to a fork in hall and she had to go one way and I the other. I gave her a hug goodbye and she started crying, for all of you who know me I do not deal well with people crying. So I just said have fun for the rest of you time here, because she was staying for a few weeks, and told her that we would meet up again because she only goes to school four hours away. I find it ironic that we were the first ones to meet each other in September in New York and that we were the last ones that each of us were with, We started it together we ended it together.

This was by for the best experience of my life. I already miss it and wish that it hadn’t gone by as fast as it did. It’s hard to put what I learned into words, or few sentences, it would take me hours to explain everything. That day I left in September I was nervous leaving everything I knew and my comfort zone behind me for a few months, now I am so thankful for that day. That day was the start of something that I will never forget and and experience of a lifetime. That day also led me to met so many great people and nine people that I have the privilege of calling great friends. It as started me on a journey to explore the world and the people that share this planet with me.  To Gladys, Jeremy, Sydney, Bethany, Andrew, Amanda, Dominique, Niki, and Eveline thank you for the great memories that you have been a part of and being such great flatmates. I hope to see you all again someday. Thank you is not even close to what to what needs to be said but that is what I have to offer here and now when I only have a limited amount of space. This was something I will never forget. I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to study abroad and if you have questions let me know.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss