2016 marks the first year in my 23 years of life that I have not spent Thanksgiving with my family. Even all throughout college I always found a way to go home even if it was only for a couple hours. So this year was really a struggle not being able to be apart of the annual Thanksgiving tradition with my family. But, traveling to Belfast and seeing the other scholars was as close to a family gathering as I could ask for. It still amazes me how SCL managed to gather 23 of the most awesome kids from around the world and bring them together. When we’re together it’s just pure genuine fun. I thought that I would be feeling kind of down all day. Especially after I facetimed with my family and I realized how much I missed home but I surprisingly held it together for the majority of the day. At our Thanksgiving banquet we got to watch videos our family sent us and it was just so emotional. Being in Carlow and only having Mike around makes me forget sometimes that there’s 21 other people going through the exact same thing as I am. The togetherness and shared emotion that day was such a relief. Plus, we got to spend the weekend in Belfast which is probably the polar opposite of little old Carlow. I visited a mall (with big stores), ate Auntie Anne’s pretzels, and I got a chance to vist the Christmas Market which was so cool.
Following Thanksgiving was the Fresher’s basketball tournament. Luckily, it was in Carlow this year so we had a lot of visitors come spend the weekend with us. My Women’s Freshers team did so good! We only had about 7 players but they came ready to go. The majority of the games I just sat back and watched and didn’t have to actually do much coaching. We lost in the semifinal qualifying game but I think everyone was content with how hard they played and how much fun they had. Usually, they are so quiet and reserved but they were so energetic and showed great sportmanship. This week was just a nice little mini vacation to get my mind off of school and being homesick. I had so much fun. Can’t wait to see the scholars again!