September 7th, 2014 | Uncategorized
At first I was a little bit apprehensive. I’ll be honest, I was hesitant. I have experienced the good-natured warmth of the Irish in my first weeks on the island. Still, there was that little bit of nervousness stepping into a brand new environment at the University of Limerick. I had become accustomed to my friends and my setup both in Dayton and in Atlanta, so leaving all of that and basically restarting with school, soccer, and an entire year of my life had left a lot of unknowns. A lot of these unknowns were cleared up this week. I met tons of other international students from all over the world during orientation. Limerick has over 1,500 international students from every continent! I played soccer with a group of internationals who were super friendly, I met nearly all of the people in my apartment village, and I was introduced to a new team in my first match with Cloughjordan Football Club.
I came to a realization towards the end of this week. One common factor among all of these encounters was the friendliness and genuine good vibes that everyone displayed. I realized that at the end of the day, everyone is in the same boat that I am in, one way or another. Everyone has that little bit of apprehension when faced with something or someone new, as it is human nature to be wary of what is unknown. Knowing that this bit of apprehension is inside all of us, this week has shown me that when you let your guard down just that little bit and let the positive energy flow, your day to day experience can be transformed in an instant. I’ve now met people who I can call friends for at least the next year to come, and I look forward to meeting more remarkable people, learning more about their stories, and sharing my story with new people all the time. Through meeting new people and learning from them, I feel a sense of growth that I hope to continue and expand upon as this year gets under way.