The night ended with me walking home laughing hysterically and sobbing. And I wasn’t crying from joy. The past six months studying abroad have been a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, and it all just hit me at once in a flurry.
Tonight I went to the student bar with my usual group of friends and we hung out there making fun of what the girls across the room were wearing and throwing old receipts at each other and taking ridiculous photos and laughing a bit too loud. Then we headed to a pub down the road for Karaoke Night and there we ran into another group of international students. There were about fifteen or twenty of us and everyone was getting along (which is not always the case). A few of my friends sang and each time we would all join in and cheer loudly at awkward moments. In those moments I couldn’t help but just look around and try to commit the whole thing to memory – the sounds, the people, and the way I felt. We sang along to Backstreet Boys’ songs and Hakuna Matata and American Pie. We took loads of pictures. And some of us (not me) danced even though everyone else was sitting.
It was one of the most memorable nights of the past six months of my life. And at the end of it I had to say goodbye to two lovely girls who I never even expected to like. They are leaving tomorrow and many others are leaving in the next few days – and I’m leaving in five days as well. I hugged them goodbye and tried so hard not to cry. I glanced through the room one last time before leaving, knowing that I would never see some of those people ever again. I said goodbye to two, but I’m sure there will be others whom I will not see again before I leave.
I walked home with the best friend I have made here, who has quickly become one of the best friends I have ever had. And the tears started, and they didn’t stop for two blocks. I was truly sad to be leaving those girls and sad that we would never go out as a group like that ever again and sad that the next five days will just get more and more lonely until I’m standing at the airport by myself. And I was so happy that the night had gone the way it had, a truly perfect end to the past six months. So I laughed through my tears.