This post is probably a couple of weeks overdue, but I will try my best to write as if I am in the midst of November and still have exams coming up (rather than the reality that is all the post-exam freedom that I am experiencing right now!)
Well, NOVEMBER SUCKS:
- Deadlines literally OVERLAP with my exam schedule – there is no such thing as a study break here, so be prepared to fit revision into your coursework. I think I have spoken quite enough about the workload though, and I definitely don’t want it to put you off applying to Dal because overall it is a REALLY good time and most people are very chilled out about…everything. Remember, there’s no mountain you cannot climb 🙂
- I am not ready for goodbyes! Although I cannot WAIT to be done with this semester so that I can enjoy the Christmas break, I also never want it to end – loads of the amazing people I have met on exchange will be going home for Christmas and not coming back to Canada after (cry!!) I have become so used to seeing these people every day so it is really, really sad to have to say goodbye so soon – nobody warned me of how hard this part would be! So here is your warning: you will be saying goodbye to people much earlier than you want to. BUT, exchange is short and bitter sweet whether you are away for the year or just the semester. Everything is over far too quickly, and there is never enough time to do everything you want to do when trying to balance your workload alongside exploring the world, but all of the new people you meet and the new places that you visit make it all worthwhile! And think of all the OTHER amazing places that you can go and visit now that you have friends from all over the world! We are already planning our future adventures…
So, these two things that I dislike about November have made me think more about how intense the exchange experience is. If I was going home after one semester, I feel like I would be looking back on four months and asking “did that really just happen?” I am so settled in to my life in Canada now that I can’t even imagine going back to Glasgow yet – it seems as though my life in Scotland has been put on pause while I am here. In fact, if I felt any differently, I imagine I would be feeling incredibly homesick. You need to immerse yourself in your experience abroad to really get the most out of it, which is why I am glad that I am not going home for Christmas next month – that life at home has been put on pause (in my mind anyway – I am sure everyone is still having a whale of a time in Glasgow) and I will pick it up again when I get home next year. For now, I want to discover this life – the intense and temporary one that is known as the exchange life!
Although I might hate the challenges that come with November right now, they are all part of the whirlwind package. I feel like Ronan Keating might have been on an exchange when he wrote “Life is a Rollercoaster” – how else could he have gained such valuable life experience and the ability to write such an inspirational song? Ronan you da man!
My next post will be all about exam freedom and exploring more of Canada over Christmas!!! (aka way more upbeat and interesting and with lots and lots of pictures) xx