How to Say Goodbye

Holly Toner
Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan
Major: Japaneseculture

I have reached the middle of my study abroad. I have survived six whole months in another country. I have survived the deaths of people close to me from back home. I have survived another intense run in with anxiety. I’ve made it through the small every day challenges of living abroad.

And I have even accepted that maybe I can try a lot harder with my time here. I think in living abroad you are your own worst enemy. At least for me, I beat myself up a lot. I always think I’m not improving much on my language, but you start to take responsibility for yourself.

Reaching the half way mark I don’t feel like I have time to see it as an accomplishment because instantly we are thrown into the next hurdle. Saying goodbye.friends

It’s no lie when people tell you that you will meet some of the most life changing people on your trip abroad. For the past two months now it’s been a constant string of saying farewell. Farewell parties, farewell cards, watching your friends pack up their rooms, holding them as they cry, trying to chase away their anxieties of returning home.

Today I said goodbye to the last close friend from my dorm. Three of us remain to continue on in the next semester. Although I’m heartbroken at the thought of, what I never see some of these people again? I can’t help but feel the motivation that comes from times like this. Watching everyone return home reminds me of how grateful I am for the time I still have remaining. Listening to their fears makes me face my own. Remembering how much they supported me when I arrived makes me want to give the same support to the new students who will arrive in the next month.

Most importantly, I want to keep growing as an individual. I can’t say I accept it easily, but things in life are only temporary. Life is constantly ticking and moving along and throwing new challenges, and new beautiful opportunities at the same time. Sometimes I find myself hiding from these things, but for my remaining time I want to face life head on. As sad as I’m sure I’ll be to leave this place when my time comes, but I think that the more tears we shed only show how truly important this time was for everyone.mountains

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