Heading into this semester abroad, I was unsure about how I will interact with my flatmates. I, being a 23 year old undergrad, was nervous at the thought that I would be living with 18-20 first year undergrad students. My mind originally was full with doubt, questions, and hesitation. My original thought was, “it will be just like my freshman year”, and it turned out to be the freshman year I never had.
My flat was comprised of 13 people, some from Germany, one from The Netherlands and China, and the rest were English, respectfully. At the beginning, it was just like freshman year, filled with “family” meal time and going to freshman orientation events together. However, as the term progressed, it became more that just flat with a bunch of people, it became a family.
In years past, I have been very familiar with goodbyes. I would settle and become happy with the place that I am at, but then, I had to say goodbye. When I transferred to Iowa State University, I had to say goodbye to my old school and friends in Chicago. Even my time at Iowa State has been a rough transition, but, I can say hands down that this goodbye has been the hardest of them all.
And with that, I have a few last minute words of praise to give my flatmates:
Thank you for making a great impression from the very beginning. Your accent will always be in my memory and so will all the embarrassing snap chats I got of you (sorry not sorry). You have always been the life of the party and know how to make people smile. Your fascination of Beans on Toast will always bewilder me, but, it is what makes you, you.
Thank you for seeing me for who I am and seeing me eye to eye from the very beginning. I have enjoyed our non-filtered conversations and your blunt, straightforward attitude. You and Nick have made fantastic curry and I know I won’t get any as authentic as that in Iowa. I will definitely miss you and will always remember the fun days we had at Hustle 🙂
Thank you for being a study buddy! You never judged me for spending hours in the computer lab because you were right next to me. I have enjoyed creeping on people with you and talking with your pal, George from back home. The “Night Of No Sleep” will always stay in my memory and I thank you for getting me to go out! You have a perfect balance of hard work and self-indulgence.
The only girl who has touched my nose with her own. Although our friendship was a late bloomer, it has become a flourishing one! The past few weeks I have loved getting to know you and hanging out with you. Your company was always welcomed and I loved smelling the amazing food you would cook on a daily basis, as I sat and ate chicken nuggets.
I have enjoyed getting to know you through our countless political, social, and ethical debates. You have such a strong head on your shoulders and I am happy to call you my Lad. You have made me feel so welcomed the last three months in our flat and I credit your open mindedness for that.
Thank you for always being a Burst of randomness. I have always applauded your ability to stay up late and watch Netflix, while simultaneously being so good at what you do. Thank you for always taking my side that driving on the right side of the road is the best way. A night out with you is always one to remember as we always exchange looks when we both don’t know a song.
Thank you for being a Lad’s Lad since day one. It has been a pleasure hanging out with you and your friends. You were a great neighbor who never blasted music, but was there for me with a Star wars Band-aid when I needed it. I knew you were a cool guy who I first heard you say, “yeah, i don’t like beer, I’m more of a cider guy”.
Thank you for introducing net ball to me. Although I still have very little understanding of it, despite you constantly educating me on it. You have been such a warm spirit in our flat and your laugh is contagious to us all.
To all of Flat 12, I want to thank you all for making my study abroad experience one to cherish forever. You all have made a heavy impact on how the term has been. I sincerely wish you all the best as you return after holiday with me no longer there. However, I encourage you to still reach out to me, say hello, and keep me updated with your lives! I hope I have made the same impact on you as you have with me. I encourage you all to continue what you are doing, but still seek out new opportunities that will help you grow as a student and as a person.