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A bit blurry, but a picture with two of the best people I know – Heather and Michael

 

290,880 minutes, 202 days – a fairly good estimate of the time I’ve spent in Aberystwyth. Chronologically, this amount of time excludes a few long trips (back to the US at Christmas, Malta, Spain) and also excludes subtracting some shorter trips. The real total is probably closer to 180 days – 6 months. And yet, no matter how you measure it – in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks or months, it goes by quickly.

What have I done in those 290,880 minutes? Oh, let me count the ways! Here are a few highlights:

  • Travelled – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Hamilton, York, London, Cardiff, Hay-on-Wye, Malta, Oxford, Barcelona, Toledo, Segovia, Madrid
  • Had my first beach bonfire and taught quite a few Brits what a s’more is (it doesn’t help they don’t have graham crackers)
  • Met people who are now family
  • Loved and lost (I lost Nana in November of 2012, leaving me now grandmother-less)
  • Lived with five other people, including 3 guys
  • Finished a dissertation, weighing in at 50 pages all inclusive
  • Finished my undergraduate degree
  • Volunteered at a National Library
  • Learned a few words of Welsh as well as a good smattering of British slang like bossy boots or cheeky monkey
  • Learned to love English breakfast tea (milk and sugar please!)

And that’s just a sampling. The list… it could go on as long as I’ve been here in Aberystwyth. I don’t want to make this a really long post for the simple reason it makes me sad. I’m leaving Aber permanently in about two days. I know I’ll be back to see many of my UK friends (and to Europe to see my flatmates) at some point, for weddings and what have you, but for now, it’s permanent.

Those 290,880 minutes have been the best of my life. I have learned so much about life, love, friendship, going after what you want, waiting and what makes a person good. I’ve redefined myself and I am so, so proud of myself for doing so. I think Aberystwyth has turned me into a person I never thought I would be, but always wanted to be. 

So now, as I spent my last two days in Aberystwyth, I will cherish them all. I will not just miss the people (though that is a major thing) but I will miss who I am at this moment. I will miss the journey I’ve gone on to be who I am. I will miss reminders of that journey as I walk around Aberystwyth or the University.

That’s it for now. I’m going to go cherish some more minutes!