Further Reflections

Life in Manchester, April-June 

Wednesday, April 20th ~ 3 months in to exchange

I’m currently sitting outside in the SUNSHINE writing this! Yes… the SUN!! It’s been so beautiful out the past few days. I love it! You can tell it doesn’t happen often though, because EVERYONE sits outside and wears shorts the moment it gets sunny! Seriously, I can’t stop smiling, it’s so wonderful.

Wednesday, April 27th

It feels like I got back from Ireland SO LONG ago and it was only 3 or 4 days ago. Well, in that time a lot has happened. I’m moving out on May 8 because all of these renovations in the house are driving me mad. Plus, last night I spilt tea all over the bed so I had to change my sheets, AND I almost set my blanket on fire in the heater. How lovely. Other than all of this madness its been fine, this week is my last full week of classes. Also, all of this craziness is making me miss Tyson more than ever. I love him so much!! Soon I will get to see him again.

Tuesday May 3rd ~ 3.5 months in to exchange

Today was a busy day of classes, and this evening I went with Mel, Amanda and Ashley to a Go Abroad Social, where future exchange students and current exchange students can meet up and talk and have free food (which wasn’t very good). It was pretty neat because I met 3 girls who are going to UBC next year! I tried to share as much advice as I could with them, and we all added each other on facebook and I told them to message me if they had more questions. It was super fun. Also, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my future lately. I have come to the conclusion that it is highly unlikely that I will stay in one job my whole life, so I have decided it is a good idea for me to hone more skills throughout my BA that I will be able to apply to many fields once I graduate. (I’ve concluded going to law school would be a bad idea/waste of money for this reason, plus I’m not really passionate about it.) I think Cultural Studies in particular is awesome because of the way it makes me think about the world. I really hope I am also able to pursue English because I think writing really will be in my future and I love to do it. I’ve spent more time on my writing here and I know that I can use my skills to make money, especially if it is in relation to writing about my travels. (Plus, I’ve already started planning the rest of my travels! No matter what, travel is always going to be a part of my life. That isn’t going to stop simply because I go back to Canada.) I feel that uni is being treated more and more like job training, which it isn’t, nor should it be. It is about learning, and for me, I think the thinking styles encouraged in a BA are particularly valuable for this world. I know that they will serve me well in any field I choose. I just really hope UBCO is the right place to continue this journey.

Wednesday May 11th

I am officially a Cheadle resident now! Alastair helped me move on Sunday. It’s a cute little house in a really quiet neighbourhood, and it is around the corner from a bunch of grocery stores, which is awesome. Though I was sad to leave Prestwich, I’m really glad I’m not living there anymore.

Thursday May 19th ~ 4 months in to exchange

Since I’ve gotten back from Edinburgh, I’ve basically just been studying for exams. Except yesterday, I went into Manchester with Anne to do a bunch of stuff. First, we went to the Manchester Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in Manchester. Anne and Grandma’s uncle, Samuel Donaghy, is listed in the Roll of Honour books for the Manchester Regiment, where he served during the war. We got to see it, but only a replica. Apparently the real one was stolen awhile ago. They got it back, but now they aren’t really able to show it to visitors. It kind of sucked, but at least we got to see the replica. Then we went to see the Hidden Gem, a tiny chapel in the midst of the city centre. The outside wasn’t much, but inside it was extremely ornate. I was pleasantly surprised; it was lovely! Next we headed to the John Ryland’s library, which I had wanted to check out for awhile. It was pretty cool to see! It’s really old and has some incredible architecture, and so many books. It was built by John Ryland’s wife as a present for him. Crazy! Next we got some afternoon tea at Marks & Spencers. It was really cool, they bring you tea an cream and then a big, tiered tray with little sandwiches and cakes and scones! It was so cute. I’m glad I got to try afternoon tea. Then we went shopping, and boy, can Anne shop! By the time I finally got back home I was exhausted. I really need to study because I have an exam on Monday, but I just don’t have any energy. And I really miss Tyson. Ugh.

 Tuesday, May 24th

I’ve officially finished one exam! I feel like it went very well. I’m taking a little break from studying now, plus I’m going to a concert on Saturday, which should be lots of fun.

Wednesday, May 25th

Today I woke up feeling awful. What am I even going back to Canada to? I really don’t want to go back to the place I was in before I left for England, because I was in a really bad place. I wasn’t healthy at all and basically everything sucked. I’m a lot better now, but I’m scared that when I go back, everything will be the way it was before I left again. I really don’t want that to happen. All I want is to move away with Tyson, have everyone leave us alone, and make new friends that aren’t total assholes. Is that really too much to ask?

Tuesday June 7th 

After a busy week of finals, I have finally finished the academic portion of my exchange. It is so surreal! Yesterday I had to say goodbye to my friends, which was really hard. Mel is such a good friend; I really hope we can stay in touch! Yesterday was also Tyson and I’s one year anniversary! I cannot wait to celebrate with him. I miss him so much. I’m a little worried about having to go back to Canada and deal with everything that I left behind. I’m stronger than before though, so I know I can do it. I know who I am now and what I am capable of, and I’m not going to let anyone take that from me. So watch out Canada, I’m coming for you… I hope you’re ready. 

 


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