Returning to Canada

*Reader Discretion: I never intended for this blog-post to be so sad – after all is said and done, I’m happier than I’ve ever been*

I’m still in Swansea,Wales as I type what will most likely be my final blog-post, and I’ll be leaving the UK to head back to Canada on the most fitting date: Canada Day. It’ll seem like the whole nation is celebrating my return; there’ll be celebration, parties, fireworks, and more. Okay, I’m not that full of myself, but I did plan out my trip that way for fun. Do I wish I could stay longer? Definitely, though I wouldn’t come here any earlier than I did (January) because then everything would be different and there’s no way I would ever gamble the spectacular time I’ve had here. With that being said, my emotions have been running wild as ever since the beginning of this month. It’s almost time for me to go.

One of my best friends of my exchange has just left residence and is off to India, where he lives while he’s not at university. It was really difficult to say goodbye, as I expected, but it’s really just a warm-up for me because I already know I’m going to be an absolute wreck when it comes time for me to leave this place. It’s not just this lovely coastal city I’m leaving; no, it’s the amazing people I’ve befriended, and the unbelievable life I’ve experienced here. Excuse my redundancy, I’m just typing this while I’m in this state of mind – it’s not really something I like having on my mind these days.

In a sense, the emotions I’ve been feeling lately have been similar to the ones I felt in the weeks leading up to my departure from Canada to come here. The only difference is that I know what I’m returning to, whereas when I left to come here I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and with who. Some of the best friends I’ve ever had live here, and it kills me to have to leave them soon. Of course I’m going to be happy to see my parents again and all the friends I left when I left Canada, but truthfully I think I’m more bummed out about leaving here than I am about returning home, which should be understandable. Sigh. I actually warned my parents the other day that although I’ll probably be overwhelmed with sadness when I get home, I am still genuinely happy to reunite with them, to which my mother replied “that’s fine, I’m not that insensitive”.

Anyways, if you’re reading this right now because you’re thinking about going on an exchange abroad, please take my simple advice: do it. Do it and you will never regret it. In fact, I’d rank my decision to go on an exchange as the best or second-best decision I’ve ever made. The fact that I feel the way I do about returning home should act as a testament towards that previous statement. The pain of leaving is totally worth it. Or better yet, I suppose it just comes with program. I just feel like that little kid who refuses to leave the playground for dinner time. I don’t want to come down from the monkey bars, and nobody’s going to make me.

Finally, to shamelessly quote something from the movie Annie:

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Thanks for reading,


About Alisa Cunnington

Faculty of Humanities Academic Advisor: Canadian Studies, Classics, Dramatic Arts, English, Interactive Arts and Sciences, Studies in Arts and Culture, Visual Art. Office: MC A313 ext: 5279

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