Final exam stress – or not

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The midterms had only just disappeared from our minds, when the finals presented themselves. That’s right – this week is super busy and it is hard to set my priorities straight – do I deny the fact that I have to study in order to enjoy the last two weeks of this semester to the fullest? Or do I try and cram in studying in between parties, dinners, ice skating events, and planning my post-semester travel itinerary?

I see no other option but to do the latter, meaning that I should not expect very high results on my finals – but right now I cannot make myself care too much. I already care too much for other things: for my family and friends who I am going to see in a little more than a month; my friends here, who have truly become my family here in D.C., and for GW and D.C. themselves. I am experiencing a whirlwind of emotions at the moment and don’t recognize myself. This derives entirely from the fact that I long to go home, while also abhorring the fact that I will have to leave my life here behind in its entirety – a cruel dilemma. This is just a warning to future exchange students: be prepared to say goodbye. Many times.

This attitude is not the attitude I want to leave this place behind with. It is not the way I want to deal with things. Therefore, I have set myself up to count my blessings. And there are many of them. I have integrated into American college life and feel at home in the capital of the United States. I have studied at an American university (finding out that the academics are the same, if not easier, than in Maastricht). I have seen more of this beautiful country and campaigned for the current President. I was there when the President was chosen for another four years. I have met the most amazing people, who continue to make my stay here unforgettable and invaluable.

I do not want to make this entry into a goodbye entry just yet. I have another two weeks to spend here, and I am slowly starting to accept the fact I will have to leave Foggy Bottom and return home (I was in denial for about 4 weeks). However, these last two weeks are going to be special, and cherished. The teary photos will not be published – instead I hope I can provide you with stories about saying goodbye and how this contributes to the beauty of the entire experience. Until then.

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