Home

As cliche and cheesy as it may sound, I've been repeatedly listening to the song "Home" by Phillip Phillips since I arrived at the Atlanta airport. I think subconsciously I wanted to believe that engraining this song about making a new and unfamiliar place your home into my head would make it actually happen. But, surprise, it isn't that easy.   

Logistically, my transition to the UK has been relatively smooth. Sure, I've had a few small frustrations and snafus, but nothing that I haven't been able to resolve with ease. (Though, I still haven't fully made my bed yet because I still need to get my mattress topper which I ordered on Amazon...)

Emotionally, however, I've been all over the place. One minute I'll be thinking "oh my god I'm actually here and doing this! How exciting!" The next, "oh my god I'm actually here and doing this...wtf is wrong with me?" I've  been worried about making friends, stressed about adjusting from the US educational system to the UK system, freaked out about commuting to campus, anxious about not having my parents/a meal plan to rely on for food, and waiting to get hit by a car when crossing the street because I keep forgetting that they drive on the left side of the road. My source of comfort? Binge watching Grey's Anatomy (Patrick Dempsey's face is actually all I need). I've be second-guessing myself for making this decision and secretly hoping I would wake up and realize this has just all been a vacation. 

At least until today. 

Today I met the other students in the Gender, Violence and Conflict program here at Sussex. I walked into the hallway were others were waiting for our room to be cleared out and was greeted by a group of outspoken, passionate, bubbly, and friendly people. I immediately knew I was going to love my cohort. We went through our induction session with the convenor of the program, who is also the tutor (professor) for one of our core modules (courses) this semester (the language differences from the US to the UK are still throwing me off a little bit, but I'll get it) and we all headed over to a School of Global Studies social gathering. We spent the next two hours or so sitting in the grass, enjoying the sun, drinking wine and getting to know each other. We talked about everything from campus sexual assault and Brexit, to the impending US election and what are the best nights to go to the best bars. For the first time since arriving, I felt at home.

This evening I spent sometime sitting on and walking along the pebble beach (I'm still getting used to the fact that one it's a pebble beach, and two that I'm living next to it), listening to the waves, relaxing, and enjoying the beautiful view as the moonlight glistened on the water. I realized that this will probably become a nightly tradition. I was thinking about the past 5 days of living in my new home, letting everything sink in. 

Home is a weird thing. Is it where your physical residence is? Where the heart is? Where your family (either blood or chosen) is? I don't really have a concrete answer to what makes a place your home (and don't think Phillip Phillips necessarily does either). But today something shifted and I just knew that this was it.