I’ve never been particularly great at goodbyes. I’d much rather say see you later than say goodbye (in fact, I have a habit of awkwardly saying see you later to shop assistants, waitresses, and other people I know I most certainly won’t ‘see later’). Goodbye has an element of finality to it that I don’t really feel comfortable with. Also, what’s good about goodbye? Goodbye isn’t really a word you’d say to someone you’re happy to leave behind, it’s usually a word packed with meaning and emotion.
I remember how hard it was standing in Heathrow Airport saying goodbye to my family for what seemed like the longest time. I cried, a lot. So much in fact a few people came up to me and asked me if I was ok. My year abroad has been difficult, to be sure. I miss my family and friends back home more than anything, and I feel like I’ve lost contact with some of my friends in a way that will be difficult to ever get back as most of them will be graduating and leaving Leicester. A big part of me is excited to go home, see my friends and family, and eat all the food I’ve missed (I have an extensive list).
However, an even bigger part of me is nervous about the prospect of leaving. I’m going to miss all of the friends I’ve made here so much, and saying goodbye to them will really feel final as many of them are not just from Dallas but from all over the United States and the world. I’m going to miss the little things about my year abroad that now seem routine: Friday night dinners with my International Students group, spontaneous trips with friends to get food at 4am when I can’t sleep, and going to see movies for $4. It feels like just as I’ve settled in and really feel comfortable in Arlington I have to leave forever (hopefully not, but you never know). I’m nervous because I’m worried home will feel different in a way that’s uncomfortable at first, adjusting to Texas was one thing but having to adjust to my home will just be a whole new complicated experience that I’m not sure I really want to have.
As students the period around the end of March and April is often a time where you either think about goodbyes a lot or have to say a lot of them, especially if you’re graduating. Three years go by so fast when you’re as busy as you are when you’re in university. By the time your first year of adjusting and making friends is over, you get so caught up in trying to make your time at university great and assignments that now actually count towards your degree that before you know it you’re ready to graduate. Goodbyes are a fundamental part of life when you’re in your late teens and early twenties, and I guess they are long after that too, but they never get easier do they?
In the comments, let me know how you feel about saying goodbye and what do you do to make it easier!