Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I Guess it is the End

Anything said about these past three weeks would almost be an understatement. I truly don't know how to express how much I've enjoyed my time there.

I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make new friends. I was afraid my roommate and I wouldn't get along. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to understand what's happening in class. I was afraid I would return back the same as I had left. I shoved the negative thoughts to back of my mind, and instead tried to use them to push myself further and ensure none of those came true.

Back when we had no idea what would be in store for us
I remember opening my dorm's door, excited to see who my roommate would be. When it hit me that I had a single, I was devastated. I thought I would be missing out on one of the best experiences. Mom consoled me saying that I would be fine, and I believed her. As time went on, it hardly felt like I had a single. Friends would come into my room all the time, and even fall asleep on a beanbag they dragged in.

Our true colors coming out after a few days
In comparison to Vanderbilt last year, I felt a lot more comfortable. I made multiple friends in our RA group tour, with the first being Olivia and Stella, and my anxiety subsided slowly. As the day went on, things only seemed to get better. I was able to talk to more people than I expected. I could almost sense myself using the small talk skills I picked up last year in Vanderbilt.

When law class started, I became more anxious. Everyone in the room was set on pursuing law and did everything they could to be the best in the class and get on the good side of Ms.Scott. The amount of work given to us was proving to be too much for me, especially since I hated this subject. Social sciences had always been a weakness for me, and I really didn't think I was cut out for this class. I know I took it because it would be a challenge, but this challenge was seeming to be more detrimental than constructive. I remember spending time at dinner worrying more about how to add to the discussion the next day rather than enjoying my time with the
The first day
people around me. No matter how much I would read about a case, I just wouldn't know how to talk about it like everyone else did.

Things got better when I switched classes, even if I started getting less sleep. I was doing something I enjoyed much more. Struggling with make up work and having an underhand with quizzes and homework was still worth it. (Since I was borrowing Ms. Ramseyer's textbook, I couldn't highlight the book and use it during quizzes. I had to hand-write pages of notes and could only use those in quizzes). The first project was also proving to be difficult to work on since I couldn't get time to work on it with the surprisingly big pile of make up work.

Every day, my life probably would have been easier if I started my work at the time most people did, but instead I chose talking to people who barged into my room (*cough cough* Kara and Michelle), and then either socializing outside or going downtown. Do I regret doing that every time? No. In fact, I'd say that's what made this trip unforgettable.

Us trying to deal with Raqeeb and his sleep
Then, before I knew it, the time had come for us to go to Yerkes. Initially, I was very sad to go because I had gotten so used to the dorms and people I saw everyday. I didn't know how to feel about only being around people in the physics class. I hadn't talked to many of my classmates,  and I was afraid I wouldn't have a good time.

Little did I know, the complete opposite would happen. Lindsay and I talked to people who we wished we had spoken to before. We formed lasting bonds and had made so many inside jokes in just a couple of days. We got to push around a huge telescope and view the beautiful night sky away from light pollution. It made the end of the trip harder to face as there would now be more experiences to miss.

Throughout this trip, I've made bonds with people I can never forget. To Lindsay, thank you for becoming my sister/lesbian wife. We did everything together, and told each other secrets we would never tell the world. To Kara and Michelle, thank you for teaching me how to be wild. To Olivia, thank you for putting up with me and my weird hair. Most importantly, to Raqeeb, Cecilia, and everyone else above, thank you for keeping me together in the time I was a mess switching classes. To Alia, Stella, Arthur, and Donna, thank you for supporting me when the switch happened and still keeping in touch. To Jared, Nick, and Lister, I will always regret not becoming closer to you earlier on this trip. 

Nick and I (on the last day)
I still don't feel like facing the reality that the trip is over. I currently have been texting friends the past day to make up for the unfortunate fact that we won't be seeing each other physically anymore. Even through all the downs and sleepless nights, these past three weeks have proved themselves to be some of the best weeks of my life, and I thank everyone who makes ILC happen for this opportunity. Thank you. 

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