The Test of Distance

As we get closer and closer to finals, the levels of stress seem to increase exponentially. Not only do we have exams to take, papers to write and projects to finish but for some of us, we have to say goodbye to our friends for a while.I was selected to participate in Notre Dame’s study abroad program in Puebla, Mexico this upcoming fall. Before you get all antsy on me, let me tell you that there is no travel warning in place for the state of Puebla nor any of the nearby states. Additionally, I went to India by myself and survived. I can handle Mexico with sixteen of my fellow Notre Dame students, an onsite coordinator and the international students branch of UPAEP, the university where I will be studying. Promise. As I picture in my head the hypothetical devil’s advocate conversation, I have a well thought out and supported response for each point. Also, I speak the language! I do appreciate the concern though.

As excited as I am to go to Mexico, I do not want to leave Notre Dame. Several of my friends are studying abroad next spring in London, France and even Japan but after the last day of finals this semester, I will not see them until fall semester senior year! That’s 1.3 years! 16 months! 70 weeks! 486 days!

Now, unlike when our parents went to school, we have cell phones, texting, Skype and even Facebook to keep in touch but it still feels as if half of my friends here at Notre Dame are going to vanish! It puts things in perspective. Who would have thought that time would become so precious so quickly? As I approach the halfway point in my time here at Notre Dame and see seniors that I’ve come to be great friends with prepare to leave our Home under the Dome, I can’t help but stop and think. How will distance from Notre Dame and from our friends affect us? Which friendships will span the miles and stay strong and which will fade?

Seems like I have a lot to ponder while I’m “paying attention” during chemistry lecture.

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