During the week of December 11, I was in four different countries… and for the first time in almost four months, one of those countries was America! It was an incredible semester, but I was aching to get back as I couldn’t ignore my longing for friends, family, and Duke much longer. Just 4 weeks later, I’m sitting in my brand new dorm on the third floor of Keohane, my recycle bin still stuffed with folded boxes and wrappings.
I spent a lot of my break wondering what it would be like to be back at Duke. Would I wish everything in the States were more European? Would I want to spend more time with the family and friends that I’d left in South Florida? Would I think that Durham was incredibly bland by comparison? Alas, my answers are no, no, and no. Sure, Europe has a certain appeal, and I will always love my SoFla family and friends more than life itself, but there’s something about this campus and the city it’s in that has me thinking Duke is second to none.
After making the 12-hour drive from Boca Raton with my Mom, unloading, organizing, and Target-ing, I dropped Mama off at the airport and returned to this:
If that wasn’t enough to bring a huge smile to my face, a reunion with a close friend and a meeting at the Admissions Office surely did. The sweet baked oatmeal at the Refectory didn’t hurt either. While also reminding me of how much I enjoy some of the food here, this day reminded me of how beautiful the campus is, how wonderful the people are, and how accessible the administration can be. While I was chatting with Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag and Social Media Manager Cara Rousseau about my experiences abroad, my friend was meeting with Vice President of Student Affairs Larry Moneta about some ideas she had for the campus and student body. So yes, I am more than thrilled to be back at a school that embodies everything I dreamed my college of choice would embody.
Despite all of this, I’m still anxious about what will come of this semester. Things are going to be different – I’ll have a car on campus for the first semester, I’ll be a Resident Assistant (RA) to about 30 students, and I’ll be applying to internships that could determine my future. You could say I’m as nervous as I was the first day I arrived to campus in August of 2009. But there’s just something about being here and knowing where being here will take me that lets me keep on keeping on. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if I can find a man that makes me half as happy as Duke makes me, I’ll be the luckiest girl in the world.
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