The Beginning of the End


When you study abroad for a semester, you are very aware that it is only for a semester. However, nothing prepared me for the feeling I got when I realized that this entire experience was truly beginning to end.

It all started when I was walking around The Hague, and I received a text message saying that the entire friend group would be going to the nearby forest in Amsterdam the following day as a going-away picnic for one of our friends. Now, I had known about her departure for about two weeks prior to this picnic, so her leaving was no surprise to me. However, I suddenly got this sinking feeling in my stomach, and I felt like time was also running out for me. Spoiler alert, I have now had this feeling in my stomach every day since then, and I am now four days away from going back to the United States.

The following day, we all went to the forest and spent most of the afternoon there. We reminisced on a lot of the memories we had made together. At the end of the picnic, we knew that that would be the last time we see her, so we all said our goodbyes. This was where the feeling in my stomach really intensified. I knew that everyone was starting to go back home, and I felt like I was wasting my time doing things that didn’t matter.

Once we all made it back home, we began to talk about how sad we were. Now that school was over and people were beginning to go back home, we felt like there was so much left to do. It was comforting to know that I was not the only one with this terrible feeling in my stomach. However, this didn’t mean that the issue was solved, only that we all felt bad now. Therefore, I began looking for a way on how to fix this. My main issue was feeling like I hadn’t done anything I set out to do, so I made it a priority to accomplish this. That night, we all began to plan day trip to other cities in the Netherlands, because I wanted to explore the country that. Housed me for five unforgettable months.

Our first priority, however, was to go have a long relaxing beach day. Therefore, the very next day, as our friend was flying back to the United States, we went north and went to Zandvoort beach. However, our dreams of a nice beach day were quickly squashed as the wind was blowing very strong, it was very cloudy, and very cold. We tried not to let this disrupt our plans, so we went to a beach bar and had some killer nachos. However, the beach was only getting colder and none of us had jackets and sand was blowing in our faces, so we had to cut the trip short. Despite this, it was good to know that I was going to start checking things off my list, so that I don’t have any regrets by the time I go back home.