I came to the United Kingdom with the idea that I was going to, in a sense, reinvent myself.
I saw things in myself that I wanted to be different, so I figured being Oxford would be a good place to begin something totally new and different inside of me.
Now three weeks into this crazy, weird thing called Study Abroad, I’m gradually learning so much about who I am and who I am becoming. However, changing certain behavioral patterns or breaking habits isn’t always a fun and grand adventure, and it most definitely doesn’t happen in only three weeks in a new place.
I came into this experience thinking I was going to stop staying up so late and that I’d become a morning person and a runner and that I’d eat more vegetables and read more.
So far, I’d say the only one of those I seem to have accomplished is that I possibly eat more vegetables because the Wednesday open market is just to-die-for.
Besides consuming more produce, I am still the girl who runs on way too little sleep, drinks espresso frequently and sleeps on the front row of class most mornings.
I buy books almost compulsively and convince myself that tomorrow, I’ll start reading them all.
I did go for a run in University Park once. (Sidenote: This is not the apartment complex in Abilene, but an actual park in Oxford).
I am the girl who went to Platform 9 Â¾ on her 20th birthday and nearly cried watching a YouTube video tribute to Harry Potter. I still wait to do my homework till it’s dark outside, and it’s the late night vigils trying to finish columns and poetry commentaries that make me wonder if there is another way of going about things.
This semester has already been a time for me to stop and reflect on the person I am and the person I want to be. So far, I have realized that to accomplish any of the things I would like to change about myself, it’s going to take some major effort on my part.
I guess what I am trying to remind you is that being in a new place or turning another year older doesn’t automatically alter who you are at your core. The process of changing takes work, time and commitment. I think it is important for us all to think about who we are and who we are becoming.
Pick out a few things that should be different, and little by little, work to become that better version of yourself. It could be things as simple as remembering to pick up your clothes from the floor every day or putting down your phone during meal times. It could be bigger things, like making sure you listen to those around you, or being wiser with the way you spend money.
Whatever it may be, think about what you can do to change into a better you.
Don’t worry friends, I don’t plan on returning to America as some unrecognizable wanna-be Brit. While parts of me, like the Harry Potter and book-loving girl will remain, I do however, hope that I will start going to bed earlier.