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My time abroad

| Thursday, February 1, 2018

On the night of Sept. 27, 2017 I danced beside Brittany Margritz and Ryan Hergenrother — two-fellow Notre Dame juniors studying abroad in Ireland — in Olympia Theatre in Dublin as LCD Soundsystem, my favorite band, ended their first of three shows on the Emerald Isle by playing their 2007 song “All My Friends.”

The song ends with the repetition of a single line by singer James Murphy, calling out to the crowd and asking, “Where are your friends tonight?”

This was a line which I had been pretty familiar with before — I named the pretty average blog I kept while abroad after it — but it’s one which gained new significance after my semester abroad.

As I said in my blog, I had initially chosen the title just because it was a line from one of my favorite songs, and it kind of encapsulated what I hoped to with the blog — document what me and my friends did during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I hope I succeeded at that in an at least mildly entertaining way.

But the more I thought about it, the more the actual meaning within the song made itself apparent.

The line “Where are your friends tonight?” evokes feelings of longings for a past time, where you and all of your friends were having fun before the pressures of the real world started to encroach upon this carefreeness. The song is all about wanting to go back to the greatest adventures of your life after they have already past.

I think a strong case can be made that 30, 40 or 50 years down the line, when I look back and long for certain moments or periods of my life, the past four months will be the ones I most wish I could return to … and I’m okay with that.

This past semester completely transformed how I see not only the world, but also myself.

My semester abroad gave me some incredible experiences that I’ll never forget — like getting lost in the fog on the top of a mountain in the west of Ireland, wandering the streets of Amsterdam at night and finally fulfilling my lifelong dream of seeing Paris and everything that goes along with it.

I made incredible new friends as we explored the pubs of Dublin or went on many-a-long walk through the Irish countryside and just explored a new culture and country together.

But it wasn’t all one smooth journey all the way to the top, I learned things about myself I never expected — dealing with actual panic attacks on the streets of Barcelona and being consoled by friends who I know I’ll have for the rest of my life now.

So, when I reach the old age of 50 and I put down my LCD Soundsystem records on what will be an ever more obsolete turntable and hear “Where are your friends tonight?” belted out over and over, I hope the friends I think of will be the ones who I ate too much gelato with in Italy or waited in line for hours with to get into the catacombs of Egypt or just at a meal with in a Dublin cafe. And when those are the friends that come to mind, I’ll probably smile, think of that night in the Olympia and wish I could do it all again.

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

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About Lucas Masin-Moyer

Lucas Masin-Moyer is a senior at Notre Dame majoring in Political Science and American Studies. He serves as Assistant Managing Editor, lived in Morrissey Manor and hails from Telford, Pennsylvania.

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