School has been R.O.U.G.H. this term. I'm not really sure if it's been harder than the others, but for some reason it seems to be hitting me harder this year. I think (and I'm sure you are all tired of hearing me say this) it might have something to do with here not being London. Most of the time it doesn't bother me, but every now and again I think about it, and I go back in my mind--and it's hard coming back to reality! I laughed when I got my email from GSE that had a 'Student Re-Entry' packet in a pdf, including a 'Top Ten Immediate Reentry Challenges' list. Let me share a few gems with you.
1. It is largely unexpected that you will experience reverse culture shock. Few people prepare for the return because the expect it to be easy and are surprised when it is not.
[Seriously? Who wrote this?!?)
2. The reality of home differs from reality. When you are abroad, images of home life can become idealized or romanticised. It is easy to forget or minimize the problems or issues that were once a source of stress in your everyday life. Re-encountering them can be disconcerting.
I would love to (not really) share more, but I'm going a bit mad just reading some of them. (That, coupled with the myriad of spelling mistakes has me just frantic...) I thought these Californians were just trying to be helpful, but had no idea that they were actually serious about students have a 're-entry' problem. Turns out, they were actually right. I made it through the first few months okay, with the fabulous help of my church family and friends. But with the pressures of school, I'm somehow missing it more.
While I'm not mooning over London (and sometimes when I am), I'm working at the Learning Center. It's been pretty slow, which is good and bad all at the same time. When it is slow, I have the chance to do some homework, emailing and of course, blogging. I am also more easily distracted if there is no one around...which seems really odd now that I say it out loud.
I do have a job lined up for the summer. I'm back at the library, which makes me really happy. I've missed it so much, even though I'm over there most of the time anyway!
Work is almost over, so I better wrap this up. Four more papers to write for this term! Ugh...now I just have to start them!