//- High School Student Exchange -//

A year has past

poem, good-bye

A year has past
and now we stand on the blink of returning to a world where we are surrounded by the paradox of everything and yet nothing being the same.
In 4 weeks we will reluctantly give our hugs and,
fighting the tears,
say goodbye to people who were once just nams on a sheet of paper
to return to people that we hugged and fought tears to say goodbye to
before we ever left.
We will leave our best friends to return to our best friends.
We will go back to the places we came from and go back to the same
things we did last summer and every summer before.
We will come into town on that same familiar road,
and even though it has been months, it will seem like only yesterday.
As you walk into your old bedroom, every emotion will pass through
you as you reflect on the way your life has changed and
the person you have become.
You suddenly realize that the things that were most important to
you a year ago don't seem to matter so much anymore,
and the things you hold highest now,
no one at home will completely understand.
Who will you call first?
What will you do your first weekend home with your friends?
Where are you going to work?
Who will be at the party Saturday night?
What has everyone been up to in the past few months?
Who from school will you keep in touch with?
How long before you actually start missing people barging in without calling or knocking?
Then you start to realize how much things have changed,
and you realize the hardest part of being an exchange student
is balancing the two completely different worlds you
now live in, trying desperately to hold on to everything all the while
trying to figure out what you have to leave behind.
We now know the meaning of true friendship.
We know who we have kept in touch with over the past year
and who we hold dearest to our hearts.
We've left our worlds to deal with the real world.
We've had our hearts broken, we've fell in love, we've
helped our best friends overcome
eating disorders,
stress, and
We've lit candles at the grotto and we've stayed up
all night
on the phone just to talk to a friend in need.
There have been times
when we've felt so helpless being hours away from
home when we knew our families or friends needed us the most,
and there are times when we know we have made a difference.
4 weeks from now we will leave.
4 weeks from now we take down our pictures, and pack up our clothes.
No more going next door to do nothing for hours on end.
We will leave our friends whose random emails and phone calls
will bring us laughter and tears this summer, and hopefully years to come.
We will take our memories and dreams and put them away for now,
saving them for our return to this world.
Two months from now we will arrive.
Two months from now we will unpack our bags and have
dinner with our families.
We will drive over to our best friend's house and do
nothing for hours on end.
We will return to the same friends whose random emails and phone calls
have brought us laughter and tears over the past year.
We will unpack old dreams and memories that have been
put away for the past year.
In 4 weeks, we will dig deep inside to find the
strength and conviction
to adjust to change and still keep each other close.
And somehow,
in some way,
we will find our place between these two worlds.

In 4 weeks, Are you ready?

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