By Kenzi Nevis | Contributor
Adjusting to campus after studying abroad can be like jumping into the freezing Irish Sea in October-it's worth it, but it takes courage. And while Taylor is one of the most welcoming communities I've ever been a part of, coming back is still hard.
I spent two semesters in Ireland-the first semesters of both freshman and junior year. Both times, the transition back to campus required different, but equally important, skills.
As a freshman, arriving in Upland at the beginning of J-term was scary, but I wasn't totally unprepared. My cross-cultural training in Ireland had taught me to navigate adjusting to another culture, and that's certainly what Taylor was to me at first. I learned that if I locked myself in my room, I'd never readapt. It was uncomfortable for a while, but I knew I had to find a tribe of upperclassmen who could pull me into the Taylor community. I found that family in the theatre.
As a junior returning to Taylor after another semester away, I expected the transition to be easier-I was wrong. I'd changed over the past months. Suddenly, I didn't quite fit into the role I'd built for myself, and it wasn't as if life had remained static here, either. My friends had changed. The things I was a part of had changed. New students had come and others had left. It was sad at times, but I was also incredibly excited to be a part of something as dynamic as the Taylor community. It would be easier if everything stayed the same, but wouldn't it be a little boring, too?
This semester I've discovered I can't count on relationships to remain healthy if I don't put work into them. This has caused me to reevaluate what's most important. I've had to make a conscious effort to retain some friendships and learn to let others go. It's been a hard but beautiful journey. I'm grateful for both the semesters I spent on campus and those I spent across the sea.
They're different sides of the same thing to me: home.