A Letter to the Friends I Made Abroad

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Written by  January 3, 2017

To all the people I met during term overseas; see you soon.

I wish I could physically open my heart to show you exactly how grateful I am for the kindness you have shown me in these last few months. Even on my last day, as we are all going through a difficult time, we manage to help each other through the worst despite geographic locations. This is friendship without any borders.

Never would I have imagined feeling this heavy. I took a plane to Scotland with zero expectations of what I was going to do, where I was going to go and who I was going to meet. Now, I sit on an eight-hour flight thinking of the different places my heart has split into. Between Scotland, its people and others around the world that have given me memories for a lifetime, the thought of being away makes it difficult to feel whole again.

We each came together with nothing to lose. We were all looking for some semblance of home in a new environment and, in turn, we found a home in each other here in Aberdeen. We saw each other every day, we laughed until our stomachs hurt, we encouraged each other to be punctual students, and we also encouraged each other to drink until 5am.

During my study abroad orientation, I was warned about “reverse culture shock”—the disturbing reality of coming back home after experiencing something different that will have changed my life. I doubted the thought of Toronto being completely unfamiliar to me during my return, but the truth is that I am not so sure. In sharing my experience with family and friends, I could be enthusiastic  and get nods of acknowledgment, but no one will ever really understand—except those that were there. This is when distance becomes both a worry and a problem.

If so much can happen in three months, who knows what else can change in the future?

I am scared. The fear of neglecting people from home and losing touch of the tight-knit relationships I have made in Scotland looms at the back of my mind. If so much can happen in three months, who knows what else can change in the future?

Time knows no boundaries. Because of this, and because of you, I have found the courage to live in the moment and let go of unnecessary worries. The best that I can do is to let things happen the way they should.

Thank you for opening my eyes to a world much larger than I imagined. This experience has brought me closer to the ground. I am humbled by everything I do not know and everything I may have misunderstood. The inspiration you have instilled in me to be the best that I can be will last until the next time we meet. We will always have each other and we will always have Aberdeen.

Take care of yourself. I miss you already.

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Published in Study Abroad Blogs
Mikee Mutuc

Mikee Mutuc is a journalism student from Toronto, Canada currently continuing her studies for the fall semester of 2016 at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.

Website: instagram.com/mkaev

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