What I think was kinda unique to my experience in my Year abroad was that I didn’t go home for Christmas Break. I kinda wanted to stay because I wanted to experience every aspect of American culture especially during Christmas (I’ve already experienced a pleasant experience of Thanksgiving with my lecturer), I also didn’t see the point of spending only a few weeks back home and spending all that money, also it probably would have made me really sad to spend such a small amount of time with my family and then had to leave to go back to America for the rest of the school year. However, surprisingly I wasn’t going to be spending my Christmas Break at the university dorms, but someplace entirely different. One of my new friends that I had made in America introduced me to a nice little side job that I was able to undertake without affecting my visa status because I was just going to be causally housesitting for about 2 and a half weeks. My primary job was just looking after 1 dog, 1 cat and 7 ducks, whilst maintaining that the house was still standing after my time there. It was a really good experience I felt like that I catered to the needs of the animals and kept the house in well working order, it also made me wake up early and follow a good routine for the day, as well as gain some patience needed for taking care of animals. Also, there was added bonus of getting paid and treating myself to a few nice presents during Christmas. Besides caring for the animals, I had time thinking about my time in America and sort through my initial feelings on my experience, what I knew at that time, over Christmas break, was that I loved pretty much all my time so far and could not wait for the final semester at Humboldt State University.
The rest of the year was spent focusing on a much harsher study/work routine at the university because I had chosen to do a course module at a much higher level than I had done previously. I also spent the rest of the year furthering relationships that I had made in the last semester, this involved spending more time and getting more comfortable with people. What also marked this semester different was the increase amount of travel across the country, I travelled across Oregon and Washington in order to get to Vancouver, Canada, it was a wonderful experience and I made loads of contacts in the archaeological academic world and I am so thankful to my lecturer in America that had arranged it. Overall, I really enjoyed my time in America and loved all my new and wonderful friends and I am so thankful to the University of Southampton for giving me this opportunity, I really think this time abroad really helped my confidence and gave me a unique outlook on life. What makes America and the people that live there so unique and fascinating was that they are so prideful in everything they did and ore, sometimes they are too prideful, but often times they are have just enough pride and they value who they are and their country as a distinct identity, they taught me how to take pride in myself and others, and for that I am the most thankful.