As semester one ends, I now know that February has been the best and worst month of Erasmus. It’s such a breath of fresh air, starting a whole new semester and all the anticipation that comes with a brand-new summer semester but half the fun.
With Christmas break over, it was my first return to Prague. In my taxi drive from the airport to my accommodation, calling my friends, I began anticipating what we adventure Prague would gift me once again. My flight back to Prague for semester two landed at 10pm but that couldnt stop me and my friends from exploring Prague again, as if it were the first-time landing in this beautiful city. As cliché as it may sound, the amazing thing about Prague is that it never sleeps. The streets are always roaming with students and tourists, and I can truly say I’ve never met students who are as friendly as the ones you meet on the streets of Prague. I never thought that it would be so easy to meet people in a city. Cities are supposed to be isolation and difficult to navigate, no? Perhaps, living in a commuter’s town, west of London, clouded my expectations of living in a city, but people always told me that moving abroad, particularly to a capital city could be very lonely. People couldn’t be more wrong. And even if they were right, they have definitely never been a student in Prague.
Although the ‘FOMO’ was hitting me hard, I came back to Prague a little later than my friends (I admit I can be a hardcore homebody at times). This of course meant that I would have all of the people I cared about already there, ready to reunite. I was overcome with emotions. These are people that I have spent the last four months with in a new, scary, beautiful place and seeing them again for the first time was really the essence of a year abroad. I felt like I had reunited with long distance, childhood friends. You know, those friends that you used to be inseparable with at school, spent every minute you could together, and knew each other’s deepest darkest secrets, which back then was probably some secret crush.
As I stepped out the taxi and reunited with my friends, I hugged them with a warm embrace. In that moment, it was a flash- forward, to years later, reuniting again. We always knew that the friendships we make on Erasmus eventually become long distance friendships, but you never realise how soon it happens. Unfortunately, a lot of my Erasmus friends were only doing a semester abroad, which meant that they were leaving already. It was just February, and already I was saying goodbye to some of the best people. And just like that, the close friends I had made on Erasmus, became long distance friends I had once met on Erasmus, like a passing memory.
Everyone who signs up to Erasmus, signs up knowing that there will be many goodbyes. Goodbyes to family at home, to friends, to comfort. But also, goodbyes to places you go, goodbye to experiences you have and goodbyes to friends you make on Erasmus.