It’s (bitter)sweet to be home.

Apologies for going AWOL, but essay deadlines, exams, and farewells all seemed to pile up at once over the past couple of months. Now, after an amazing 10 months abroad, I’m back home in the UK for the first time.

As excited as I was to be home, I was also pretty sad to be leaving. A year is a long time to be away, and I felt that I had really adjusted to my life in Singapore. Leaving exchange means saying goodbye to a lot of new friends and people who I might potentially never see again. Life at NTU had a unique sense of community, and that is something I will miss a lot from my time there.

But I was also nervous about coming back. How would I cope with shifting between being busy every day to having a relatively free summer? Would I experience “reverse culture shock”? Would everything be different when I got home? Although I’ve only been back for a few days now, I’m surprised to say everything is pretty much how I left it. I think that this is both a good and a bad thing. Since I feel like I’ve experienced a lot of new things, it’s strange to be back in a place where nothing seems to have changed. At the same time, it’s nice to know I haven’t missed out on anything too huge while I was away, and things being just how I remember certainly makes it easier to adjust.

Although I can already hear myself getting annoying with constant tangents about Singapore, I’m super excited to be home and to be able to catch up with friends, family, and (most importantly) my dog.

I had an amazing year, and it’s something I will remember for a long, long time.

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At Marina Bay Sands infinity pool, Singapore

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