As we all know, all good things must come to an end. Although I am not nearly ready, that statement now applies to the greatest 5 months I have ever been given thanks to Galway. But as I sit here in the Dublin Airport waiting to board my plane back home, I can’t quite get myself to believe it. It doesn’t seem possible that 5 months have passed; my mind quite literally cannot come to terms with the reality of it all. I can’t really explain what I have been feeling the past few days as I’ve prepared for my departure. It’s a weird and surreal state of mind. Part of me feels like I should be, and almost wants to be, more emotional and sad about leaving, considering the incredible semester I have had here. But then the part of me that doesn’t feel like all of this is really happening won’t allow me to feel those emotions yet, although I know they are bound to hit eventually. So I am left temporarily anesthetized, diverting my attention away from my reluctance and sorrow in leaving and focusing instead on all that I am walking away from this experience with.
In my first post, before embarking on this adventure, I mentioned how the typical study abroad experience seemed too good to be true. I wondered if friends and acquaintances were actually on some sort of reality TV show while they “studied” abroad, one that highlighted all of the glamorous and exiting aspects and neglected the rest. But, come to find out, studying abroad really is all that it is cracked up to be. Living in Galway exceeded all of my expectations, and while there were of course a few bumps in the road, the positives FAR outweighed any negatives and any negatives simply served as learning experiences. In my 5 months, I traveled non-stop, met life long friends, ate divine food and classily sipped on glasses of wine (okay that one is a bit of a stretch, I was in Ireland people, where people not-so-classily gulp Guinness, Jameson & Ginger and Irish Coffees) and hung out in the cutest and quaintest little cafes. But even more, I embraced a lifestyle, a city and a community that I fell in love with. The city of Galway, and all of the people in it, provided me with a new appreciation and outlook on life. In the season finale of “The Real Students of Studying Abroad: Morgan Fuller Edition,” I am realizing that I truly have lived the dream these past 5 months, and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity. Yes, I am sad to be leaving. But I know this is not the end for Galway and I…I will forever be able to consider it my second home. So friends, it’s only a matter of time before the premier or Season 2…stay tuned.