Stephanie McCann

York St. John University

The last time I was in Keene, N.H., I was the Student Life Editor for The Equinox.

I was a two minute walk from my best friends. I was a phone call from my family. I was surrounded by a faculty that knew my name.

I was safe in my comfort zone that I had created over the last two and a half years as a student, though, by that point, change felt absolutely necessary.

When I made the decision to study at York St. John University in England, it didn’t feel quite real.

Contributed Photo / Stephanie McCann

Contributed Photo / Stephanie McCann

An entire semester in a beautiful foreign city with cobblestone streets and a pub for every day of the year felt so far in the future that stepping onto my British Airways flight last Sunday, Jan. 18, felt like nothing to me.

I had packed my suitcases, I had said my goodbyes and I had compulsively Googled things like, “what do British people eat?” and “eyebrow waxing in England,” but I don’t think the realization that I was going to be in Europe for four months had settled in by then.

It still hasn’t.

Although I’ve been here for a week now, I find I’m constantly in awe of how lucky I am to be able to call this country my home for the time being.

It still doesn’t feel real, but that’s only prompting me to explore as much as I can before it’s over.

I wake up as early as my perpetually jet-lagged self can and make sure to see as much of this beautiful city I can in a day.

We haven’t begun classes yet, which means I’ve had time to find the best cappuccino in town, walk the historic side streets and go for runs on the castle walls that wrap around the entire city.

While I’m here, I plan to visit as many other countries as I can, like Italy, Spain, Ireland or Portugal.

I feel it’s absolutely crucial to travel as much as possible during a semester abroad because it’s so cheap.

In fact, I’m going to Leeds, England this weekend.

It still doesn’t feel real yet and it might never settle in, but I’m okay with that, because this dream I’m living right now, in this beautifully historic country, is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

So, as they say in England, “Cheers!” to this semester.

I cannot wait to see what will come of it.

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