May 2017: My final month in America

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I have less than a month left of my time in Minnesota. I cannot believe how quickly my time in America has been, I feel like I only just left. Before my departure in August, I was so nervous, you make this decision to move your life to a different country without really knowing anyone or how anything is going to turn out and that was quite a big thing for me. Now almost ten months later, I don’t want to leave. Minnesota has become a home to me, I have met friends for a lifetime, made amazing memories and have really grown as a person. I thought a year was a long time but it’s gone so quickly and I wish I had more time left here.

The last month has been a lot of fun. April began with my attendance to a friend’s wedding. Asha who graduated from the University of Manchester last year and who also studied abroad in Minnesota married her American partner in a stunning rooftop ceremony in downtown Minneapolis. The day was so beautiful and I was so grateful to be able to be a part of it. Asha made a gorgeous bride! I sat with George and Nancy who I mentioned in one of my previous blogs. George who is an academic advisor at Carlson School of Management and his wife Nancy have a few of the exchange students to their house every Thursday for dinner, when Asha studied abroad she also was part of this Thursday night dinner group. They are the sweetest couple and it was so special for them to see Asha get married.

 

A few weeks later the University of Minnesota hosted the yearly ‘Spring Jam’ event. This was so fun and one of the craziest things I have experienced. ‘Spring Jam’ is basically a huge party on campus. The day first started with a block party. The amount of people there was unbelievable, it had been organized in coordination with the police (cops) and so the road was closed to allow all the students to party like crazy. After we went to the actual ‘Spring Jam’ event where there was a stage area, beer garden, fun-fair and food carts all set up in the middle of a car park. There was also a Ferris wheel which had an amazing view of the campus and downtown Minneapolis. We finished the day watching ASAP Ferg perform and then headed home. The whole day was full of so much fun and excitement but I have to admit I was very happy to get to bed, partying all day is quite the task.

After the fun of course came all the exams and presentations. Americans love their group presentations, I am presenting my very last group presentation tomorrow but I have had four just this week! Classes are all beginning to wrap up. I have one last final exam next week and then I will be done. Attending Carlson School of Management has really helped me progress as a person. I have more confidence and from the classes I have taken and I have been able to identify an area in business that I would love to work in. The school is truly inspiring, the students work incredibly hard and are real assets to the University. My experience in Carlson has motivated me even more to work really hard back in Manchester and achieve a great career.

I finally booked my flight back to Belfast, I was in denial for a while that I actually have to leave. I fly from New York to Belfast on the 9th of June but I am hoping to see some of the east coast before I say my final goodbye to America. Ellie, one of my best friends from this year and I are planning to travel Boston and New York and potentially a few more places on the way. I am really excited to see Boston as it has the largest Irish population in America. New York will also be so pretty to see in the summer and contrast to my winter experience I had of it.

For now, I am trying to just enjoy my final moments in Minnesota without thinking too much about leaving (proving much, much harder than expected!) However as hard as it will be to leave and even if I do cry the entire plane journey home (very likely) I feel so lucky to leave with such a full heart. Minnesota has made such an impression on me and that is something I will forever be grateful for and will never forget.

 

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Hope

I was so nervous about moving my life to America for a year but from all I have experienced in this month, the fear, the stress and the immense change have definitely all been worth it!

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