Okay yes, legally, I am an adult. However, I have never truly lived on my own without the aid of my parents, or a meal plan.
After officially living on my own for a week, I have a few thoughts on how I don’t think I’m great at it.
First of all, I want to remind my loyal followers I moved into university by myself. Landing at 10 am in Dublin was exciting, but also terrifying. I was in a foreign country on my own, I didn’t think I had any experience with the real world. I didn’t know what to do once I moved in other than make my bed and take a nap. Through trial and error, I think I’m doing better at living on my own.
Grocery shopping seemed to be the biggest monster to conquer. Minutes after putting my belongings into my little apartment room, I started to wander around town with my bag and got a sense of where I would be staying for the next few months. With the rain trickling down every so often, I honestly had no idea where exactly I was heading, I just knew I wanted food.
I somehow made my way to a Tesco, which was a very far and tiring walk from my new home. After looking like an idiot finding the entrance, I started to snake through each aisle as an attempt at shopping. What I realize now is a shopping list is a key part of a successful trip, for at the time I was just picking up random foods and shampoos with no regard to the price (dumb move) or to how much I could carry (a dumber move).
I still made it back to my apartment with my limited supply of food and at the time did not know there was a grocery store closer by, meaning there would be less of a walk. It’s so strange to go from having the university make all your meals for you with the aide of a meal plan to having to buy and cook everything for myself. It was almost like a wake up call, that I will have to do this at one point in my life, so I better start practicing now.
But now I have to make appointments myself? Yes, I have to register with immigration and could not rely on my parents to tell me when and where to show up. I never really dealt with this back home, even the week before I left my parents set up a dental appointment for me. Maybe it was a fear of maturity, but now that I have been given the responsibility to make my own appointments here, time to face my fears.
Speaking of facing fears, this whole first week has been a roller coaster. I wish I could tell you I watched the plane touch softly at the Dublin airport with a warm smile and a sense of belonging, but that wouldn’t be the truth. That moment we touched down, I let a few tears run down my cheeks as I looked out the little window at the great landscape of this beautiful country. For a brief moment, I was scared and alone. I know my family has continued to support me and will continue to be there for me, but that feeling of knowing no one at school or in the area or even in the country made my head spin.
I am very happy to report how quickly my mood turned as soon as I stepped out of the airport. When I made my way to the bus and ran into other students going to Maynooth, I knew I wasn’t alone and everything was going to be okay. I met other awesome international students who were in the same clueless shoes I was in. Normally, I would stay in my room with the comfort of Netflix when my anxiety started to get out of hand. Since I was already out of my comfort zone, I pushed it even further by going out with students I just met and meeting even more people in this small town.
I’ve met so many interesting people since being more extroverted and saying “yes” to going out during my first week in Ireland. From Australia to Germany to India to the United States, I have loved getting to know all these new people and learning more about their different cultures. I can confidently say I am much happier now that I got to know people and gotten situated, so I don’t want this to raise any concern (that’s directed at you, Mom and Dad, its all good over here!)
So I know this sounds all over the place, going from grocery shopping to anxieties, but I felt it needed to be said. I think many students who are studying abroad or moving away from home can relate to some parts, so I write this to say it is not uncommon.
I know this got a little personal and a little deep, more so that I planned on being for this post, but I like to stay honest. I started this blog to write about all my times here in Ireland, positive and negative. If you enjoyed it, thank you! If you came here looking for pictures and writing about my travels to different counties, stay tuned!
I think that sums up my first week pretty well. Since class has started this week, I’ve begun my Irish Cultural Heritage class that involves many field trips around Ireland this semester. Be sure to check back for updates on my travels, follow any of my social medias if you’d like to see more photos, and as always, Sláinte!