Coming home, reverse culture shock & moving on…

Well I’ve been back home for 3 months now. I’ve  had quite a lot to do since being back such as moving back into my old flat, looking for a flatmate, going through a year’s worth of mail, looking for part-time employment, catching up with friends and family and lastly starting my final year at Glasgow. I’m glad I’ve had all this to do as it means I’ve had less time to dwell on my amazing year in New Zealand which I miss so much!

At first I struggled in coming to terms with being back home and being away from all of my friends in Dunedin. Nothing really seemed to have changed in my absence which made me feel like I’d never been away at all and that my study abroad memories were some distant dream that I had once. However, now I have a focus (final year) and I’m excited about finishing my degree as I have a great project to work on under a supportive supervisor, and I also have great final year options to look forward to including a field trip to Egypt as part of the Tropical Marine Biology option to study coral reefs in the Red Sea.

I do think I’ve changed in subtle ways. I feel I’ve matured as a person yet and that I know myself a lot better than I did before (that sounds really weird when I’m typing it… it’s hard to explain…). I’ve been told I’m “glowing” (!) and feel a sense of inner calmness which is also difficult to decribe. I’ve also been exposed to so many new ideas and have been influenced a great deal by the many pioneering minds I’ve met. I now know for sure that my future lies in research. This is an amazing revelation to me – only 1 year ago I felt I had completely no idea what to do after my undergraduate degree and no direction in my life. Now I’m planning to go to Aberdeen to do an MSc in Applied Marine & Fisheries Ecology in 2011, and if that goes well, hopefully a PhD somewhere in the future (who knows where, perhaps Otago?!). Although my Study Abroad year is at an end – and this is going to sound REALLY cheesy, but oh well – it feels like this is only the beginning…



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