Ending the Adventure

Wow, the final week is here. I can’t believe it! At first it seems insane that it has already been two months, but when I think back to everything I have done, it begins to make sense. More than anything, I am grateful for the people that I met here. I knew when I left I was yearning to make connections; I feel like I was successful in this regard. I am proud of how far I’ve come since stepping off the plane in Dublin for the first time.

I will always remember my time working at RCSI. This was my first role in an actual office. The first time I had my own desk and felt part of an office community. It was a great first experience and an amazing internship. I hope I made some impact on the company even if it was small. 

At my job, I received feedback rather indirectly. My supervisor was always extremely positive when commenting on my work. It was encouraging to hear ‘well done’ or ‘good job’ and ‘thank you very much’. I really enjoyed getting positive feedback, however, it would have been to receive some constructive criticism. Leaving this experience, it would have been nice to be evaluated on my strengths and weaknesses from an outside source. I feel as though I have an idea of the areas I excel in, but, I won’t know for sure until I am evaluated objectively. 

Because Irish culture is similar to American, there were few times when I had to use contextual clues to communicate. If I ever had trouble navigating or getting somewhere, I could easily ask someone or consult the internet.

It took a while for me to realize that I am actually leaving. I have the countdown of days in my head, however, it hasn’t really set in yet. I know I will have to start packing up my things any second, but I can’t bring myself to do so. Before leaving, I can see everyone scrambling to visit their favorite places, and fit as much as they can into the final days. I find myself having a different approach. I think if I tried to keep myself busy I wouldn’t be as mindful and appreciative of the city. I’ve found that I enjoy extremely simple activities. I love riding the bus in the morning. I love walking around and just watching people; there are so many different walks of life to be seen here.

This week I tried my best to say goodbye to Dublin and visit all the places I liked best. I went back to some of my favorite restaurants, parks and pubs. It is definitely a bittersweet feeling to say goodbye.

I really enjoyed the time I spent with the other students from Pitt this week. However, this just makes it harder to leave. I hope to be able to continue the friendships I started here but I know that it will never be like it was in Ireland. I believe people bond over shared experience and because this is such a unique one, I grew close with the students I met here. I’m extremely grateful for this. On the other hand, it will be good to see my family and friends and tell all the stories from being away. I know all my relatives will be asking me about my time here. I can’t wait to share all the adventures I had, even the challenging ones.

I learned a lot about myself on this trip. I feel like I truly realized my passions and aspirations while living in a new place. I now know what I want to prioritize in a work-life balance. I also know how to be more self-sufficient and less dependent on others. I didn’t realize how much I relied on some people, and I am more appreciative for them now. Furthermore, some things I learned were harder to swallow. For example, sometimes Americans don’t have the best image in the eyes of another culture. Especially in the current political climate, it is possible for Americans to be less welcomed in other countries.

                I will never forget my two months in Dublin. It went by so fast, but I accomplished a lot in the short period. I will remember my first professional experience, and how comfortable I was in the office. I will always remember the people I met here. Bye for now Dublin, I know I’ll be be back!