I’ve been in Ireland for nearly two weeks now and I feel like I’m finally getting into the swing of things. I’m a lot more comfortable with the city I’m living in, I’ve become friends with the others who are studying abroad here, I’m familiar with the local shops, restaurants, and pubs, and I finally feel like I’ve gotten into a routine. I’m settled in my apartment and have been fully immersed into Irish history through the classes I am taking. When I first came to Europe, I was afraid I would never be able to get to this point. I felt like I was living in a unfamiliar area with unfamiliar people, and it was going to stay like that. I’m so thankful that I’m finally starting to feel like Cork is “home.”
During one of our first lectures, our professor told us that there were four stages of studying abroad: 1) An adrenaline and excitement high. 2) Becoming comfortable and getting into a routine. 3) Missing home and wanting to go back. And 4) Never wanting to leave. So far, this statement has proven to be extremely accurate. The first few days we were all so excited and wanted to do everything as soon as we could. I went to the city center at least once a day to shop, eat, and go out. But, because I am studying here, I quickly realized that sleep was necessary in order to make it to class every morning. So, I slowed down a little and began staying in more often. Then came stage #2: working out a routine. I now have my schedule set up in a way that works. Class in the morning, lunch, outing with my class and professors, then free time to do homework, have fun, eat dinner, or take care of a few things around my apartment.
I feel like I’m slowing moving from stage 2 into stage 3. Although I am really comfortable here, I am starting to really miss my friends, family, and cat. I look forward to messages from my parents, Snapchats from my friends, and random texts reminding me of things from back home. I don’t necessarily want to go home, but I am looking forward to being reunited with everyone!