It’s Time to Say Goodbye

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard” – Winnie the Pooh. As my time in the Netherlands is coming to an end, I couldn’t agree more with good ole Winnie the Pooh. I feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to study abroad in the Netherlands and will miss the Netherlands, my friends, and my travels. It is a bittersweet time in the International Student Guesthouse since many of the exchange students are preparing to go back to their home universities. We all seem excited to see our old friends and family, but will miss our new international friends.

My main realization as the end of my study abroad experience approaches is that there is not enough time to do and see everything. My mind is constantly thinking of the many things I still want to do before I leave. I still want to travel to London, Paris, Rome, Norway, Prague, and Vienna. I also still want to do a few things in Maastricht. I want to explore the caves of Maastricht, go to the nearby indoor ski slope, and visit the Christmas market one last time. With only a week left in Maastricht and many chores/schoolwork that need attention, I will only get to do one or two of the fun things that are on my list. However, there is simply solution to this problem. I will simply come back to Europe. In fact, I want to visit Maastricht again and hopefully convince my new friends to pick a date for a study abroad reunion.

While saying goodbye is hard, I am more than ready to go home. A semester is a long time to be away from friends and family and being in a foreign country amplifies homesickness. I am tired of eating grocery food from the small nearby shop and am ready to reunite with my beloved Chick Fila, Chipotle, Layne’s, Papa Johns, Grub Burger, and especially my mom’s home cookin’! Additionally, my small dorm room that I share with my roommate Spencer seems smaller and smaller every day. I miss living in a house! There truly is no place like home.

Leaving the Netherlands also makes me a little bit nervous. Leaving reminds me of the same anxious feeling I had when first coming to the Netherlands. However, instead of opening a bank account, I need to close one. Instead of getting my residence permit, I need to retire it. Instead of checking into the dorm, I need to check out of it. There are many things on my to do list to ensure I correctly leave the Netherlands. I have found that many of these chores are just as much of a pain as they were when I was coming to the Netherlands. The chores are also difficult to accomplish because there are fewer instructions on things you need to do before leaving when compared to the instructions I received before coming to the Netherlands.

It is time for me to get back to those chores and finish studying for my final. To my international friends: I will miss you. To those back home: I will see you soon!