Week two

It’s hard to believe that week two is already coming to an end. It seems like just yesterday that I got off the plane and stepped into the beautiful country of Ireland. Time here seems to vanish in a blink of an eye. Though that could be because I’m still not entirely adjusted to the time and Europe is eight hours ahead.

I started my first week off classes and much to my surprise, they’re not nearly as difficult as I anticipated though they are HUGE. An average class back home is between 25-30 people, whereas here a single class may be anywhere from 100-500 people. I feared that going into a foreign country where a single class is six credits {and I’m taking four of them}, that I’d be ill-equipped and fail. Luckily, that does not seem to be the case. Most my classes have between two and four assignments over the entire term, including the final. One of my classes for instance has a singular paper that’s due at the end of the term and voila-that’s the class. It’s nice not having tiny five or ten point assignments thrown at you each week as busy work-this I could get use to.

I made it into the city alone this week which was a major accomplishment. Public transportation is a completely foreign concept to me, let alone doing so alone so this was a huge deal. Turns out, it’s not as terrible as I thought it would be. It’s almost freeing, not having to rely on anybody else. The problem with going with people is that you go with them wherever they want to go, and you may not have the time you want to spend at the stores you want to see. Learning to be alone or go places alone has been scary. I fear the judgement of others and am extremely self-conscious, but why? Being alone is a beautiful thing and is completely and utterly freeing.

The stereotype that the Irish drink a lot is not a stereotype it’s the bloody truth. People here party and go hard every single night.. even school nights. This is too is completely foreign to me. Back home I would find myself on a Friday night drinking a bottle of wine either alone or with my boyfriend, watching a documentary and in bed by 10pm-11 if I was feeling like a bad ass. Not to mention, I don’t really drink. I love the simple life that I have back home: it’s quiet, it’s quaint, and it’s mine. Life in Ireland is completely different. People socialize by going out to the bar and the clubs. One of the hardest transitions for me here in Ireland is laying my introvert tendencies to rest and pulling myself out of bed at 10pm to go socialize and the bar or club. Though I haven’t mastered this skill yet, as in, I haven’t summoned the energy to get out of bed at night to socialize, it’s my hope that I will. I need to let go and indulge in activities that I wouldn’t otherwise do back home-I need to explore different activities and even sides of myself. It’s so easy to fall into the habit of laying in bed watching Netflix alone, but I didn’t pay nearly $20,000 to have that type of experience. If that’s what I wanted, I should have stayed home.

I’d say that overall I’ve been very fortunate traveling to this country-I haven’t faced many big “culture shocks”. People speak English which is one less barrier I’ve had to face. I can’t imagine howe difficult it is for those individuals who’s second language is english. The weather here is also very similar to back home and the people are friendly, if not friendlier than back home as well.  Though people speak slightly different, and drive on the wrong side of the road, I’ve been very lucky that I haven’t faced any extreme differences between back home. In fact, being in Ireland feels like home.

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