As of today, I've been back in the United States for two weeks and yet I'm just now writing this blog post. I could offer lots of excuses about how I got quite sick immediately upon returning or how I've started my internship and have been very busy, which would be true but not the real reason I haven't written. Writing this final post means that this blog, like my study abroad, is finished which makes me much more sad than I thought it would.
In any case, I got up quite early the day I left the UK to shower and get some breakfast from the hotel buffet. Then I packed up my things again and caught the shuttle (yes, with my two huge suitcases!) to the airport. I'm immensely grateful to the lovely older Scottish woman who basically held up the rest of the passengers to give me time to get my suitcases off without feeling rushed. Once at the airport, things moved smoothly as I checked my bags and went to hang out in the airport lounge.
The plane itself was incredibly nice as I was in business class and the flight attendants were lovely. Unfortunately, the TVs weren't working but between eating and reading and watching movies on my laptop, I had plenty to do!
|breakfast was perfect|
After many many hours on that airport, I got off at JFK...and everything broke down. Customs went very smoothly (much more smoothly than they would've back home, so I'm very glad I got to do them in New York) but then I had to get my suitcases again and bring them to another conveyor belt to be loaded onto my other flight. This was bothersome because 1) I'd been told I wouldn't have to get them until I got home and 2) it took them about 40 minutes before they actually came!
In any case, after that sweaty annoying experience, I got back through security and found my way to the airport lounge where I got a bit of food.
The airplane from JFK to back home was TINY! I think I've been on bigger buses. I was fairly disappointed that I didn't get a view of the city while taking off, but I did listen to Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York!"
Getting home was such a relief and my family plus my good friend, Nupur, were waiting to meet me! It was so good to see everyone after so long...and it was nice that my dad took care of my suitcases from there on out. My parents even stopped at Taco Bell on the way home from the airport...oh, Mexican food, how I'd missed you.
That Sunday, I was actually awake for 25 hours, so I suppose it's no wonder that I got sick immediately after. While it was exhausting and stressful, I'm very thankful that it went as well as it did.
I have to admit, the culture shock coming back to the US is much worse than it was going over. American money still throws me off and I'm in mourning for my access to UK Starbucks. While I don't miss St Andrews, per se, I definitely miss my friends (I've been talking to Lucy every day, but it's not the same) and being in the United Kingdom. I've talked to some of my JSA friends from St Andrews and people from Elon who were also abroad and we've agreed that coming back is strange because in many ways, it feels as though you never left and yet you feel so different.
Going to St Andrews definitely had a large impact on me, as a person, and my outlook on life. But writing this blog has had an almost equally large impact! I feel as though I've actually improved my writing, my photography, and my ability to tell a story. Thank you so much to those of you who read this and kept me company throughout my journey. To anyone considering St Andrews, or studying abroad in general, feel free to get in touch with me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via Twitter (@nicoleackman16) to ask any questions you have.
So, finally, goodbye St Andrews. xx