Sam Laughlin Swansea University, Wales


June 5, 2018

It was only natural that at the beginning of this study abroad experience, that I was expecting these 5 and a half months to feel like an eternity away from home. Now I’m sitting here, with what feels like borrowed time, in a place I now consider my second home.

It seemed like I was always doing something during this time and I can’t help but wonder how my ambitions will change when I get back stateside. I had thought about what it would be like to eventually end this journey, but it had always been a brief, distant thought and not an impending reality.

I can already see some changes in myself as a result of my experiences here: a newfound confidence of mine, a liking for being out of my comfort zone, and a realization that things are far more obtainable than what they seem. There is no doubt that I’m sad to leave while also looking forward to returning home, but I’m finding it difficult to soak in all of these last moments in a place that I had become so akin to. Going into this, I had no idea what to expect and to be honest, I have the same feelings about going home, but I’ve taken a liking to that unfamiliarity with what seems so predictable. 

I’m looking forward to seeing how much everything and everyone has changed, just as I will do the same when I get the chance to return here. And of course, I’m looking most forward to seeing friends and family again and the ever-closer college football season.

Last week in the Swansea market David Bowie’s “Changes” was playing over the speakers and one lyric in particular stuck out to me:        

         “Time may change me but I can’t trace time.”

As easy as it is to sit and think about how much has changed over a seemingly accelerated time, it’s impossible to make sense of what makes it seem so finite. So although I may want to make the most of every last second I have here, all I can really do is try and soak in the most I can with my time left. After all, if I really needed these last days to enjoy the most of Swansea that I could, then perhaps there was too much time wasted.


Semester Wales