Ending my abroad experience in Switzerland has arguably been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure. I’ve only been gone for three days, and for some reason I already miss the sound of the trains rushing by and the ridiculously expensive food that constantly had me checking the balance of my bank account.
Now I’ve realized that I can’t glance out my window and see the French Alps across the lake. I’ve realized that my default foreign language of French is no longer helpful. I’ve realized that all the customs that shocked me at the beginning are ones that I’ve grown to love. I’ve realized that I can’t just hop on a train with my half-pass and voie 7 and travel to basically any country in Europe.
During my time abroad, I did things I never thought I would do. I went on spontaneous trips. I conquered fears. And I made amazing friendships. The saying “friends are the family you choose” has never rung more true in my life. Leaving those 64 friendly faces that I’ve seen nearly every single day for the past eight months has definitely been the hardest part of leaving Switzerland.
Those 64 people have come to mean so much to me. We’ve been through the both highest of highs and the lowest of lows of abroad together. We haggled for tacky little souvenirs in Greece and rode on camels during sunrise in the Sahara desert together. We took countless trains, planes, buses, and boats. And we walked hundreds of miles in dozens of countries.
Most importantly, we bonded together.
We were there for each other when we realized that we couldn’t be home for a difficult time or special occasion. We were there for each other through everything. Even though this year has easily been the hardest year of my life, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. As the famous saying goes, everything must come to an end, and I am officially ending my abroad experience in Switzerland.