Happy birthday to me! I celebrated my big 21st birthday over this weekend. Although turning 21 doesn’t provide any legal benefits in England, 21 is still a huge birthday here (it’s kind of like the American Sweet Sixteen). When my British friends discovered that I would be turning 21, they all took it upon themselves to make sure that I had a fantastic weekend. And, I must admit, I really did! On Friday, three of my ballroom dance friends from Rubies (Jo, Jess, and Denise) surprised me with a picnic in Christ Church meadows. Then the Americans took over – I went out to dinner with Carrie, Margaret, and Lorna (okay, Lorna isn’t American, but we’ve basically adopted her). Then the Brits took over again – Yszi and I went out to G&D’s, which is an ice cream parlour in Oxford. Needless to say, I think I gained about five pounds in just one day!
Earlier on in the day, I had some time to meander around Oxford (I did study in the Bodleian, so I didn’t take the entire day off). As I munched on a white chocolate cookie from Ben’s (I think food pretty much controls my life in Oxford), I thought about what I was doing last year. On my 20th birthday, I could only think of one thing – my upcoming year abroad at Oxford. All of my gifts centered around Oxford and England (seriously. I received a laptop case, an umbrella, a trench coat, and rain boots). Now, a year later, I asked myself, “Has this year lived up to my expectations?” Now, I’m going to save this all for one of my last posts from Oxford. But the very short (and pithy) answer is yes. In terms of academics and personal life, this year abroad has exceeded my expectations. Although it didn’t turn out quite like I thought it would, my entire year abroad has been such a fantastic experience. As we begin 5th week (What?! Where is this term going?!), I realize that I have been blessed with so many amazing academic opportunities this year, and I’ve also been able to grow so much as a person. Again, I’ll elaborate on this all as I’m leaving England on August 2nd (that’s 71 days from now. But we don’t talk about that!).This is just a taste of the entry that you all can expect.
Now moving on to something far less poetic – guess what I’m doing next Friday? I’m going to visit Pevensey, England, which is where William the Conqueror landed. Then I’m going to hike to Battle, which is where (you guessed it) the Battle of Hastings was fought. I know, I know. This is probably the best birthday present to myself!
Until next time!
Colleen Curran '11