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Slowly but Surely

It is now officially one week since I’ve landed on the Emerald Isle and what a jewel it really is. To be frank, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a place quite like this- a culture shock indeed. My journey began with my departure from home. Dad, Lucia, Nikki, and Brendin accompanied me to Boston’s Logan International Airport and we said our teary-eyed goodbyes at the security gate. I am very surprised at how well I handled myself in all my traveling, despite a few more tears on the flight while listening to a music playlist I had made for my father. I must say the excitement as the plane slowly landed on the runway in Dublin was extremely thrilling. There, I met Coleman (my Interstudy advisor) and Christine (another America student studying at NUIM). The three of us quickly bonded while we tried to strategically fit 6 over-sized suitcases, 1 heavy duffle bag, 1 rubbermaid storage container, and 2 larger carry-ons into Coleman’s tiny car. If not for my conveniently tiny size and ability to squeeze into small spaces, I might still be at the airport. Upon our arrival on campus, Coleman guided us around the beautiful south campus and traditionally modern north campus of NUIM. Unfortunately, meanwhile, the immediate change was a bit too much for my body to handle- as the first couple of days, I saw more of the apartment as I would have liked to due to some jet lag and nerves. Luckily, with a bit of rest and some fresh air while sight-seeing, I was able to quickly recuperate. It is then that we met up with Coleman and an Interstudy student studying at Trinity for a bite to eat and some browsing in Dublin.Later that night, I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with Christine out on the town in Maynooth and my roommate Jamie back in the apartment. The rest of my roommates had left for the rest of the week leaving only a short while for me to meet them before. NUIM international orientation began on Thursday with several dull presentations on the school, it’s policy, scheduling, the immigration process, and etc, but the opportunity to meet an American graduate student named Megan who I am now good friends with. This day also left time for class selection which at least set me into panic mode since the modules I had chosen at home and had pre-approved at my home university were all but no longer available. Fortunate for people like me, the system here allows you more than enough time to try out different classes and get the signatures for registration later. So my plan is to attend as many as possible and figure my schedule out from there. Wish me luck- I’ll need it…. That or a couple pints of Guiness…. Ha. As far as daily life goes, I am settling in but it is taking a bit of time. It goes without saying that the Irish culture revolves around drinking and getting jarred (completely obliterated) and that is absolutely fine with me, but I myself am not much of a drinker. This is where we run into a minute problem. I have been socially drinking and enjoying myself but there are times where I don’t care to and I find my roommates and friends having difficulty accepting that. I don’t want to be a bore but I also don’t want to abolish my morals because I feel like I have to in order to feel comfortable in Ireland. Can you tell I’m up and down over here? I can almost guarantee I’ll be fine after a few days… talk then? 🙂

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