Addy Menican: Addy Runs Away
We Are the Lucky Ones…
What can I say? I am so incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to study in Scotland. Traveling has always been one of my favourite things to do and this allows me to do what I love while still working towards my degree.
I was so nervous to stay somewhere for such a long time without being able to leave whenever things got sticky, or complicated, or just plain weird. I thought I wouldn’t make friends or that I would want to move on to somewhere new. I was so wrong. Study abroad brings people together, you get to learn about new cultures and see and do things that probably aren’t possible in your home country. I mean Budapest, Amsterdam and Paris are a 2 hour plane ride away and London is just a quick bus journey (just kidding, it's 12 hours on the infamous Megabus – which actually costs just £10, making it worth the trek).
So far, I’ve explored castles, visited the home of the Lochness Monster, I even tried Haggis!!!
(Haggis is a savory pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock,) and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach and simmered for approximately three hours).
Yuck! Well it actually wasn’t that bad. And hey! When in Scotland, do as the Scottish do, right? I flew to Dublin for £14 and have already visited Amsterdam, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, London, not to mention all over Scotland. This experience doesn't even feel real but I know with out a doubt in my mind that I made the right decision when I decided to study abroad. Up next on the calendar: Morocco for a week!
My favourite quote is by a man called F. Scott Fitzgerald. He wrote, “It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.” I don’t know why this quote always stuck with me, but it always feels so true. When I returned home after nine months of backpacking, everything was exactly the way I left it. The only difference was I didn’t feel like I belonged anymore. Home will always be home, but I knew that there was so much out there for me to experience.
It can be a scary thing: entering into the big unknown. Sure, it will be different. You won’t have all the comforts of home at your disposal, you may be unsure of yourself sometimes. These are normal feelings. But when you push through all of that: all the fear, all of the worrying, that’s when you are free, and freedom is a pretty special thing. It allows you to change, grow, and to think for yourself. You get to do the things you’ve always dreamed about, that maybe you didn’t think were possible.
Taking part in the study abroad experience will change your life (if you let it).
Addy is a third year Bachelor of Business Administration student studying abroad at Rober Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland.