When I got off the plane from London at Logan Airport two months ago, I gleefully welcomed the frigid weather. It was unbearable and exposure to the wind caused concerning pain to my face and hands, but it confirmed that I was home.
Don’t get me wrong — spending the fall semester studying abroad in England was the greatest thing I’ve ever done. And that was exactly the problem. I didn’t want to leave at all, but I’d accomplished my academic and research goals and completely run out of money. So, I had come to accept that it was time to get back to campus where I can focus more directly on working toward a career without being distracted by travel, a different social dynamic, and the whimsy of simply being elsewhere.
I take it back. I’d become accustomed to such a routine lifestyle of extremes in London. My time was spent in lengthy periods of either sitting quietly and nervously in a massive historical library or taking taxis, buses, trains, and planes to the new coolest place I’d ever been in my life. Classes ran once or twice a week. The weather was a comfortable, albeit often rainy, 50 degrees every single day. Plane tickets cost $40. I could drink legally!
Nothing feels right in Boston — the city in which I’ve lived practically all my life. I’m no longer on a cultural crash course disguised as a vacation. It’s not easy realizing that what I learn and accomplish in the next year very much decides how I spend the rest of my life. It’s not easy reverting to prudent financial habits. Fortunately, friends and family remain constant regardless of where I spend my time, and returning to those at home has certainly helped me realize what, or who, truly drives me to achieve my goals.