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A year is a long time

| Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Last Wednesday, as I sat in The Observer office, waiting for the night’s articles to get in, I had the weirdest realization. That night would be my last night in the office for over a year, as I head off to spend my junior year abroad at Trinity College, Dublin. It was a weird realization because even though I suppose I’ll likely be back my senior year and that I’ll still be able to write from abroad, it sort of brought home that a year is a really long time.

Now I’m only a sophomore, and I’m not about to wax poetic about all the things I will miss about Notre Dame. I can leave that to the seniors who actually are graduating. But my realization last week brought home to me what I might actually be missing out on when I head off to go abroad.

It’s a bit weird to think about that way, because almost everyone I’ve met since starting college has told me that I absolutely have to study abroad. For both my parents, it’s apparently the one thing they regret not doing in college, and they are not the only ones to express this sentiment to me.

Don’t get me wrong. I am beyond excited to spend a year in Dublin; I wouldn’t have applied otherwise. But at this moment in time, when all of my classmates are discussing next year’s classes and rooming situations and I’m still waiting for Trinity to release their class schedule (which won’t be until September, and they still do class registration in a composition notebook of all things), it feels like I might be missing out on something.

I think all of this is driving home a truth I always wanted to avoid when I was younger. In high school, I was the queen of signing up for anything and everything under the sun. I didn’t like to say no, and I never wanted to choose between two things I knew I would really love. And I avoided it as long as I could.

But as I approach my study abroad experience, I’m realizing that doing both is not always an option. And I’m beginning to think that’s okay — because even though I won’t see my current friends for over a year, I know I’m going to have the opportunity of a lifetime over in Dublin, even if it is lacking American football games.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Caelin Miltko

I am a senior English and Irish language major, with a minor in Journalism. I spent the last year abroad in Dublin, Ireland and am currently a Walsh RA living in Pangborn.

Contact Caelin