Saying goodbye is never easy. It’s a definitive; it’s like acknowledging the sad truth that you may never see these people again. It’s different with members of your family though, you know you will meet them somewhere down the line, so you know that the goodbye is purely short term. But your friends, well there is no guarantee, especially when you all meet abroad in a foreign country, and then have to leave to go back to your own.
Being in the UK on an exchange program no doubt has its benefits; I for one, am extremely glad I took the opportunity to study outside Asia for a year, and I truly believe that this has affected me for the better. I have absolutely no regrets, and I’ve settled in so well here that except for one time in April when my grandfather passed away, I have never felt homesick, lonely or miserable, like so many international students do. And the credit goes to all the lovely people I’ve met here in Nottingham.
Out of all the people I’ve met, out of all the students whose company I’ve enjoyed this past one year, two people stand out the most. An intelligent, studious and modest girl from Sri Lanka, who also happens to be the best cook I know out of anyone our age, and a highly enthusiastic, entertaining and cheeky young man from Egypt, with a laugh so contagious that it’s impossible not to like him.
I can’t pinpoint a reason as to why we became so close. Perhaps because they were a direct entry this year, and hence we were all ‘new’ to the University. Perhaps because they had also never been to the UK before, and were therefore ideal travelling companions. Or perhaps because, cheesiness aside, it was meant to be.
They have another year here, but I don’t. We had a lovely time on our last night together, with some delicious dinner, lots of chit-chatting, lots of Cluedo (they loved this game!), and a lot of laughs mingled here and there with a tinge of sadness.
My friend and I (okay so it was my friend’s idea, but I was involved too!) prepared the following video, as a sort of parting gift. Our only mistake was perhaps playing it a little early into the night, as it started off a little nostalgia that couldn’t be stopped. Here is it:
Plans were made of us meeting up next year. I don’t expect them to actually take place; as students, we don’t have unlimited budgets, especially with all the Zara shopping we do! But if not next year, I’m confident we’ll definitely see each other again – did I mention she will be married in the next couple of years?! A grand event to celebrate, not just her wedding, but our reunion as well.
Love you both so much!