Go Raibh Maith Agat, Eiré

Parting time always come sooner than I thought it would. After my last post, I had to immediately immerse myself into studying for the final exam of perhaps what’s my hardest class at UCD this semester that is worth 70% of my grade. After going over 8 chapters of materials, 7 tutorials and 6 years of past final exams, I find myself sitting down in my room at 4:30 AM in the morning finally probably getting what most of the tests are about. I took a deep breath and a nap and got up again at 6:30.

And the exam was surprisingly easy. There were a lot of repeats from the materials from years before that was easily nailable, and I finished an hour in advance. Despite a couple of definitions questions that I am not so sure of, my academic time at UCD has came to an end just like that. Not even at 11AM.

And the next 72 hours went like a whirlwind. I went down to Dun Laoghaire for one last time with Kathleen who was there for the first time! And then, I parted ways with the group that I travel everywhere to with by drinking some Irish whiskey and shouting Slainté till 4AM in the morning (I was already passed out since I got so little sleep during the day). Went down to Bewley’s Cafe for one last time with my friend Amin in choir, and down to Bray for one last time with Amin and Dredd, and then headed back to UCD for a nap before hitting the road again to see Mark and Annie (on the trip to Morocco). Went down to RIAM for one last piano lesson with Lance, spent a girls night with Michelle and Waki from our group in Information Ethics one last time (kudos for them for calming me down for dealing with last minute leaving things, making breakfast, giving me a lift and making me laugh through the night!).

It is scary to think that I might never see some of those people, ever, again. There are also a couple of people that I haven’t got to see because of exam arrangements (and me assuming that no one I know would have exams on the last day of exams). But hey, there are always imperfect things in life, and that’s what makes life life. By the end of the day, it’s all a matter of perspective and I will get to see some people back in the States after all 🙂

“Everybody is feeling warm and bright. It is such a fine and natural sight, Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight.” This song played as I boarded my flight leaving Dublin. It really captures what it has been like here this semester with all the people that I have came to meet. Looking back, coming to Ireland to study was not something that I was thoroughly researching for and was some kind of a whirlwind decision based on the fact that I wanted to live in Europe and take some time off from Holy Cross. Despite the imperfect things like I never got to travel Europe more than I actually did, I got to know a country that I would otherwise never have got to know except for Irish stereotypes. I have came to appreciate Holy Cross and UCD and maybe get an idea about what grad school might be like, met amazing people that I would have otherwise not got to know, saw breathtaking Irish landscapes, listened to amazing music and had amazing food, and caught a brief glimpse of the culture through the classes that I am taking here. Seriously, aren’t those supposed to be the most amazing things in life?

I don’t know when I will be back yet, as I am sitting down back in my home in Shenzhen, China, in the very same spot that I wrote my very first blog. It is a scary and unsettling thought, but I firmly believe there will be a next time, and those will be memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Go raibh maith agat (which means “Thank you” in Irish), Ireland!

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