Yes, I have been home for about 10 days now. I just couldn’t bring myself to write this because I knew that writing this meant that this chapter of my life was over. And, I just wasn’t ready to admit that. What I’ve learned in Amsterdam about myself and about gender studies will stay with me forever. So, even with this chapter closed, I will frequently turn back to reminisce and remember it all!
Leaving Amsterdam meant leaving some of the most amazing people and the most incredible city in the world! My last week there was filled with karaoke, drag bingo, a lovely home cooked meal, and a final trip to a local brewery in my neighborhood. I also went to the Rijksmuseum and saw some breathtaking pieces. I presented my ISP project on paternity leave in the Netherlands, which is my academic pride and joy! On my final evening, I had cheese and stroopwafel in the park next to my house with friends from MHC, Zoë and Emma. It was the perfect ending to a challenging semester.
^[Flevopark was 5 minutes from my house, but I only went on my last day in Amsterdam! What a shame because it was so beautiful.]
I wrote this following piece when I was still in Amsterdam. It sums up what it means to study abroad and who you are when you leave”
I’ve heard that studying abroad is the best time of your life. While this may be true, it can also be the worst. For me, it was the first time I left my bubble called Western Massachusetts. I view studying abroad like your first day of school or work. Every thing and every one is new to you, and it is absolutely terrifying. In the end though, you come out stronger and more ready to take on whatever the world throws at you.
While these past 3.5 months have probably been the most different of my life, I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I’ve learned so much about the people in my life, but most importantly I’ve learned about myself. What I want and what I need.