By: Julie Pike, Staff Writer
Welcome to my first column! Every week I’ll be writing about my experience studying abroad at the University of Winchester in England, where I will be until December. You’ll read about my transition to British life, the new people I’ll meet as well as the many adventures I hope to have.
It’s day four here of my time at Winchester. I spent the day walking around the town seeing the Winchester Cathedral and King Arthur’s Round Table, which is housed in what’s left of Winchester Castle. Among the ancient architecture in Winchester lies dozens of shops, cafes and restaurants to walk through in a big maze around the city. This bustling and busy town is just a short walk from my dorm.
Flashback to four days ago, I was alone in my dorm, and I was crying on the phone to my mom. That’s right, there I was, a 20 year old, was crying to my mom. This was after being awake for close to 30 hours straight.
After the busy day of traveling I finally was by myself in my new dorm room, which luckily was a single, and the shock of what I was doing hit me. I was going to be in a totally new and unfamiliar country for three full months. What was I thinking? Three months seemed like an eternity. I was used to the comforts of being at home, and here I was lying on a bed in which the springs were nearly coming out of. The time ahead of me seemed scary and overwhelming, I didn’t know how I was going to get through it.
I had not felt homesick since I went away to an overnight camp in 5th grade for a month. This was an unfamiliar feeling to me. On that first night lying in my dorm room, my emotions got the best of me. I wasn’t sure if it was the lack of sleep, the culture shock, or just being plain homesick.
Thankfully, I was not alone. My close friend Gabby and I decided to take on this trip together, and she was going through the same thing as I was. Having a friend alongside me was the only thing keeping me together.
Today I am in a much different place. Since then Gabby and I have met many great people, and are even in the midst of planning a trip to London this week with two other girls from Shenandoah University. I’ve met people from all over the world, from California, to Australia to Sweden, it’s amazing to see people from all walks of life in one place.
The more time spent here at Winchester the more comfortable I feel. It took a few days to adjust to this new life, 3,000 miles from home. While my living situation is much different than my comfortable bed at home, and university food is different from a home cooked meal, I can tell it’s all going to be worth it. I’m in the midst of a new adventure in my life, possibly a life changing experience, and I can’t wait to see what these next three months bring.
Next adventure, London! Cheers!