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New Year’s Blues


New Year’s Blues

The first weeks without school, Christmas, New Year’s – the first time being home since taking on the adventure of coming here to Rotterdam. And to be honest, coming back was harder than I thought.

At home, I got reminded of how simple and weirdly amazing my old life used to be. I was looking at my hometown through a pair of nostalgic lenses, only seeing the good memories and cancelling out everything bad. I met up with old friends, having effortless conversations, and it all seemed so easy and perfect. It was so refreshing not adding background information to every little story to make it make sense for others. These are my people; they know every little thing about my past and while it is super exciting to meet new faces there is this lightness in connections exceeding the six months I spent abroad. For the lack of better words, I felt at home, and that was an amazing feeling to have again.

Coming back, I longed for that feeling like no other. It wasn’t exactly homesickness that crept over me but more so missing the easiness of life at home. In my hometown it is easy. I know people, I know how to behave, I know the language. I have a tightly-knit support system that has known me since I was a kid.

But after all, these exact things are the reason why I wanted to move abroad. I wanted this novelty, this experience of not knowing everything, this adventure of establishing myself in new surroundings, facing new people and challenges every day. I wanted uncertainty.
Moving abroad is the most daring thing I have ever done, and it is an absolutely wonderful experience.

Not only have I met so many wonderful people that I hope to have by my side forever, but I have learned how to build a life from the ground up. I am indulging in an exciting new study, and I am working hard to build something substantial here in Rotterdam and at the Erasmus University. I love what I get to do here, and it is refreshing how I can be my absolute, unapologetic self here.

But that doesn’t mean it is easy. It is hard to get to know a country where you don’t speak the same language, always being the foreigner, the immigrant. It is hard to start a new study and even harder to find your people in this seemingly infinite sea of faces. You have to work for it and put in effort, time, and your whole heart to make yourself at home.

Which was why it felt so unbelievably easy being somewhere where I didn’t have to invest anything and could still feel at home.  And that is why it also resulted in it being so tough getting on that plane on January 8th; I knew I would sorely miss this ease. But good news, the minute I arrived back “home” in Rotterdam, and started University again, all worries were forgotten. I saw my friends and while we were catching up about our holidays, I felt nothing but gratitude for everything I get to experience here. Being here is a chance I will forever be grateful for taking and looking back at the last six months I had an absolute blast in Rotterdam so far.

So, if you're feeling blue about returning to school, try not to worry too much. Your home will always be there for you, and you belong here in uni just as much as you do there