Year Abroad Diaries: 23 September 2012

A general guide to saying goodbye (disclaimer: some statements more serious than others.)

1) If planning a night out for school friends, ensure you choose a pre-drinking venue where you can actually hear your companions speak. Furthermore, a Saturday evening in Glasgow tends to be saturated with questionable characters, depending on which dancing arena you choose.

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2) When it comes to university friends, you’ve usually learnt from the school friends mistake. A week later, you select a quiet restaurant which gently leads to the local pub… and then the tiny club round the corner. More audible chat makes you realise how things have changed even just over the summer: some are stressed with tough uni courses, others wallets are permanently open flaunting the first pay packet. Time passes, ticking is lighter and quicker; and age, responsibility and future fall more heavily. Only a month brings a huge change. Where will a year take us?

3) Try and ensure you spend as much time at home, or with family, between the socialising as possible. This statement is all good and well – that is, until you return after days away, scrape the bottom of your bag and fail to locate your house keys. Cue little-lost-girl moment, a stay on the steps, the embarrassment of which only dims when you’re flung down to the grandparents’ for more goodbyes.

4) Don’t worry, be happy. (Rather simple for Marley to say after setting some of the green stuff alight.) After spending the past few weeks before departure running around attempting to say farewell to family, friends, even next door neighbour’s cats, the anxiety can build with the sleepless nights.

So I am leaving in two days and three sleeps’ time. The thought of somewhere so foreign is completely scary and I’m not sure how it will work out. The concept of leaving everything I know, the people I love, especially my family and C, is almost wounding. But I must remember why I’m doing this and how good it will be.

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