I’ve had so many unbelievable things happen to me here that I don’t know if I really want to go or not. It’s almost impossible to decide what to do. I know I have to go back but I just don’t want the whole experience to end. It upsets me to think that there are some people I have met here who I will probably never see again, as much as I’d like to. There are many others who I will continue to see throughout my life but maybe only once every five years or so, and there’ll be some I’ll only see in twenty years time.
This upsets me, if I’m completely honest with you.
Here’s what I wrote for the Scholarship Programme’s Yearbook, on my page. I think it sums up perfectly how I feel right now.
I’m currently sitting on my bed at Tyus Hall with my laptop in front of me, the cursor blinking at me and daring me to type, but what do I type? How can I possibly summarise an entire, incredible, unbelievable ten months in the States in just a page?
It’s not possible, that’s the simple answer. You can’t. If I could, I would write a book about the whole experience and submit it to GRSP for publishing. It’s theoretically possible, too, I’ve been keeping track of every single amazing thing that’s happened to me this year, whether it’s just the small things that made me smile from day to day in Georgia or the big group giggles we all exchanged when we got together once a month.
I’ve also been able to see parts of the States I would never get to see before, and with Americans. I travelled all over Arizona, Nevada and Utah just before Christmas and was able to experience something I doubt I will be able to experience again, at least for quite some time. Witnessing the sunrise and sunset in these beautiful, picturesque parts of the USA day after day never got tiring. I can say that I have seen both dawn and dusk at The Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and at countless other Canyons and areas of outstanding natural beauty out west. I took 800 photographs in one week, if that says anything.
I’ve also met some pretty amazing people, too. The GRSPs, my roommate, my neighbours, their friends, their friends of friends, and so on. Everyone has been so kind, welcoming, and so keen to be helpful to the confused Brit. The teachers have also been pretty good too, always keen to learn from Britain, as everyone is, on how we do things in our ‘quaint, green country’. I will desperately miss The West Georgian newspaper office get-togethers and meals, UTV13 and the kind and patient staff who put up tirelessly with my British BBC-inspired script-writing (which has the incorrect style for broadcast here). And last but definitely not least, The WOLF Internet Radio, who trusted me with hosting a show (Across the Pond), gave me DJ hours to demonstrate British music to Americans and they put me in charge of their news from January-May 2013. They even paid me for the privilege.
The opportunities that have opened up to me because of this year are not possible to count on one hand, or even two. A British Newspaper, The Guardian, is now keen for me to write comment and opinion pieces on American College Life for them to submit for publication, and that’s just one, but pretty major way in which my life has been changed forever and for the better by this programme.
It’s been amazing, and I mean that, so many people will say that something has been amazing without actually really thinking or meaning it, sometimes even the British, but this time around I mean it. I cannot thank those who made all of this possible enough, it saddens me to have to write this, a bookend to an unbelievable year. I just, literally, do not know where the time went. It was all over so fast. If I could do it again I would. This years GRSP group has been very special and I know we will all remain in contact. I think an incredible reunion in England every ten years or so is an appropriate way to stay in contact, personally…
I’m trying to put a good spin on it, but deep down I am rather upset.