As the weeks continue to fly by I had to take some time and reflect back on all that I have already done during my time in Ireland. If you were to have asked me at this time last year about going abroad and living in another country for a year, I would have laughed and said you are crazy. Although I love to travel, I never thought I would have actually packed up two suitcases and flew over 8,000 miles away for a year. Before I initially left, there were not many things I worried about. However, two things I did think about a lot were what was my team and coach going to be like, and having to make some friends to go and do things with.
Thankfully, I do not have the worry anymore. My two teammates Alyssa, who was a Scholar last year, and Meg Dunne, our Irish teammate, have been more than welcoming in making sure I am doing alright. From the start of my time in Carlow, I have always felt welcomed by everyone I came in contact with and I never felt like I was an international student trying to fit in. Meg and Alyssa have truly taken me under their wing and I could not be more thankful for that. They are the type of people that although I have only known for a little over a month, I feel like I have known them forever.
During my four years at Bucknell, there was a family that I had met through Church and always invited the college students over for a home cooked meal on Sundays. It was a time for us to get away for campus and unwind for a little before having to hit the books again Sunday night. During my first Christmas Break, when no one was on campus besides the basketball teams and wrestling team, I found myself going over there house a lot. It was the comfort of having a comfy couch to sit on, being included in the family meals, and feeling right at home that helped me get through my first year away from my actual family. In Ireland, that family is the Dunne’s. I have been so thankful to have this family who I know I can go to if I ever need anything.
To Alyssa and the Dunne Family,
Thank you for making me feel so welcomed and for treating me like one of you own 🙂