I don’t know how to feel.
I’ve known this was coming for a while now… Ever since I left Bogazici last January I’ve been planning my trip back. And I am so excited for the upcoming semester and all the adventures I know I will have. What I didn’t plan, however, was to cry like a baby when it was time to leave Waco, Baylor, and my friends with no idea if/when I’ll be back.
These past few months at college have been some of the best so far, and I realized that I need to write at least one post in praise of Baylor and my time here, regardless of the fact that I have traveled so far away from it so many times. I’m also feeling sentimental at the moment because I am sitting here on my couch in Shreveport, packed and as ready to go as I’ll ever be.
Here are a few reasons why this year was one of the best:
1) Friends. I basically had to start from scratch on the friend-making front after I came back from Turkey last year, since many of my friends from the year before had graduated, transferred, or just moved on. Starting over in junior year of college is a pretty daunting task, and I’m not sure where I would be without the exchange students. Last fall and this spring, I got the chance to meet and become very close with groups of incoming exchange and international students as they came to study at Baylor. These are some of the coolest people I have ever met, and leaving them a month into the semester was surprisingly difficult (I somehow turned into an emotional wreck there at the end).
2) My job. Working in the study abroad office at Baylor has been one of the best experiences I could have had during college. My boss(es) and coworkers have been awesome, and I consider myself the luckiest college student ever to have been able to spend over a year there. My emotional wrecked-ness stayed with me as I said goodbye to the office and everyone in it.
3) Opportunities. Last semester, although it was so challenging with 18 hours and a part-time job, allowed me to do a few really cool things. One of these was a phone interview with Dr. Greg Anderson, one of the professors from the video in my last post… He’s kind of a big deal. One of my assignments for my interviewing class was an informational interview with someone in a field I wanted to learn more about, so I took a chance and emailed him, and to my surprise he said yes. We set up a half-hour phone interview that turned into a full hour of travel stories and life advice. That conversation with him got me really interested in grad school, and a few months later I was sitting on a plane to Hawaii to visit their program. Sometimes life is cool like that.
I could say so much more about Baylor and the great things that have come from going there, but I’m leaving for the airport in about five hours and I guess it’s probably time to sleep. So to finish up, here’s a link to my traditional pre-trip song. I chose the version of “Space Oddity” from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty because a) that was a beautiful movie, and b) I kind of feel like Major Tom right now, blasting off from home into the great unknown. Although Istanbul isn’t outer space and I already somewhat know what I’m getting into, life as I know it will never be the same.