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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Done?

Brie White (center) and Caroline Moseley (far right) pose with friends made while studying abroad at the Melbourne Cup Horse Races.
Brie White (center) and Caroline Moseley (far right) pose with friends made while studying abroad at the Melbourne Cup Horse Races.

By: Brie White, Staff Writer

A truly bizarre part about being abroad is the time frame. My semester here in Melbourne started in July and was approaching the halfway mark when Wofford kicked off classes. The final examination period in Australia takes place over three weeks; however, being an English major means that most final assessments are papers, and mine were all due in week one. So 16,000 painful words have been written, and it was rough, but now I’m done.

D-O-N-E. What an odd concept. Do you just close this chapter of the book and continue on as if nothing has happened? As if I am not drastically different? I’ve still got three more weeks in the down under where I’ll be traveling around, and though I’m excited, I’m also utterly shocked at how quickly the time has passed. I’m looking forward to reunions with family and friends, but really, how could it be so close to over? This oddly paced, large city, university academic lifestyle has become my new normalcy. What will I do without it? Do I even know how to function any other way?

Of course I do. I’ve done it and I’ll do it again. Maybe the real concern is that I don’t feel ready for this all to be over. It’s a stunning reality to be able to truly transplant your life into another country, another continent and another way of being. This journey has been out of my comfort zone but so, so rewarding.

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Everyone kept telling me and my fellow program participants that this time flies, and yes, they’re right, but I think what people forget to tell you is that sometimes there are periods that drag. There are periods during your study abroad experience that plateau. There are periods that are difficult, upsetting and to put it plainly and simply: there are periods that are hard. Be it days, or weeks or even a month, life doesn’t stop because you’ve transplanted it to another place.

A lot of things have happened to me while I’ve been in Australia, and for both the good and the bad, I am grateful. I will skydive, while in Cairns, over the Great Barrier . I have consistently navigated and used public transportation, something I’d never done previously. I took a selfie with a Kangaroo. I made lifelong friends. I had to accept the truth that you cannot and will not get along with everyone. I was exposed to a very different form of government and type of healthcare system. I took classes that were extraordinarily different than anything Wofford has. I stood on soil of three different countries.

I could continue this list infinitely. These five months have provided me with a lifetime of lovely and tiresome and beautiful and difficult experiences. I am nearing the end of my time here and that is a scary reality, as soon I will be back to what I know; however, now I know a lot more.

 

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