I traveled to Berlin, Germany as a day trip this past Saturday, and while I was there I walked through a crypt. It was dark, quiet, and cold as the coffins lay lifeless like the bodies within them. The most heartbreaking part of this crypt was seeing the coffin of an infant or small child. This being said, these were the coffins that caught my attention the most.
I noticed on some of these coffins there was an hourglass figurine on top. I soon learned that the hourglass was to remind the living that our time here on Earth is, well, timed. We only have so long to live, and sometimes that time is not enough, like those poor children for example.
Now, I am not here to write my weekly blog about death, but I wanted to use this as an example because the hourglass for my time in Prague is almost run-out. There are two weeks left to go, and time is truly of the essence. Now the stress and anxiety has settled in, and it is growing with each second that passes.
It seems for me that the opposite phenomenon is occurring when it comes to students studying abroad. At the beginning, I experienced virtually no stress or anxiety when I was settling in to Prague. The transition was quite smooth, in fact. Here we are at the end, and all those negative feelings are hitting me; I am not ready to leave. Three months was not nearly enough for me.
I find myself overwhelmed by trying to check off the last items on my to-do list, and on top of that I am struggling to find something to take away from this experience. Since I adapted so easily, there was no real challenge to working/living abroad for me. I do not feel that “ah-ha” moment that the other study abroad interns have experienced when they tell me that they feel they have grown as a person and challenged themselves. I am now wondering: Did I miss something?
Through all these thoughts, I still must remind myself that I went abroad and worked full-time. That alone, in of itself, is an accomplishment. Additionally, this program has allowed me to see and experience so many new things. For example, I even learned how to use chopsticks here. (Yes, this is clearly very Czech.) As well, I have been able to make close friends here and see countries that have taken me back to my roots.
In refection, I suppose this trip for me was more about these little moments instead of a large change in who I am, and I am deeply thankful for all of it. These two weeks will fly by, but I will try my hardest to savor each moment and live them to the fullest. After all, two weeks can be a long time if you only have the right mentality. So, the countdown continues, and today marks the start of the final chapter of my time here in Prague.