When I look back at York, I will reflect on all the adventures I had, the places I had the fortune to see, and the people that will stick with me for a lifetime, but as I was writing this reflection I felt like I was leaving a huge piece of my journey behind.
I’ve written about my travels, about my experiences, about my friends but never about one of the best things that happened to me at York. I fell for someone. Fell hard, plain and simple.
We randomly met on a bus. I was coming back from a night out. He was getting pizza (great start I know). The two of us just started chatting away like no one else was on that bus. It was the quickest bus ride ever because before I knew it we were walking separate ways. That was it. I didn’t see him again for another six weeks and honestly forgot about the whole encounter even happened until I finally saw him again.
He was sitting at a table full of people when I walked down the stairs adjacent to his table. His back was towards me, so he didn’t see me, but I recognized him immediately. I wanted to run over and say hi, but literally the table was full of strangers, so I just kept walking and sat at my own table to watch a football game.
The game ends and I start to leave when I run into other friends and they ask me to stay and play pool. Of course I obliged, played a game, and that’s when I saw him walking out himself. We made eye contact and picked up just like we never ended. We chatted for about a half hour until it was time to go and I asked him to get a drink with me sometime. He accepted!
Four days later we finally meet up and go to my favorite pub for some drinks. And the rest, they say, is history. From that point on, he and I were inseparable. Forever by each other’s sides. Did everything together, until I was forced to leave.
Four weeks… four weeks only. One month. Thirty days. That is how long I knew him for yet saying goodbye to him was one of the most difficult challenges I have ever faced. Staring out the train window while the platform he stands on starts moving further and further away from me. Until I couldn’t see him any longer. Worst train ride of my life.
I will always remember these three months I had in the UK. I’ve got to travel around and see much of what the UK offers. I made some best friends at York that I will never lose contact with. I’ve learned way more than I’d ever suspected on culture and (as cliché as it sounds) myself, but, most importantly, I will look back on the limited times that I spent with him.
Falling for someone while on exchange is like a rose. Beautiful and pure but will eventually prick you. What we had was authentic. It was organic. And although we both knew what we had would end, we didn’t let that stop us. I am hurt by leaving him, but I wouldn’t have changed it for anything else.
In the end, what I went through was hard no doubt about it, but I would never encourage anyone to close themselves off to a romance abroad. It has truly opened my eyes to what a relationship should be like. Study Abroad = Relationships.