The last week of OxTrad whipped by us. One moment we were prepping hard for our Parliamentary debate on Tuesday, and then the next we were huddled around each other at 4 am saying goodbyes. These four weeks have been a whirlwind of excitement, joy, and a fair amount of stress, but none of those emotions come close to the utter despair we all felt on Friday and Saturday. Leaving one another was probably the hardest thing a lot of us have ever done; OxTrad became our family, and we were extremely reluctant to let go (as shown by me clinging to my friend Tudor after our last class).
However, as horrible as those early hours were (no sleep + lots of crying = emotional roller coaster), I am so thankful to have had this experience. I have no words for how incredible it was to form relationships with all these people, explore Oxford, and delve into my classes. A highlight of the trip was definitely the Parliamentary debate in my Politics and Economics class. My friend Stephen and I were Minister and Deputy Minister of the Department of Defense! The debate was full of hard facts, sarcastic comments and plenty of people agressively yelling, “Hear, hear!”
I learned so much in my classes and I am so grateful to the teachers and the courses for the challenges they posed each day. I’ll treasure the information I learned. The highlight of the week, though, was the ball on Friday. The last day’s celebrations started with a banquet and an awards ceremony. But the main attraction was the dance that night. It went from 10pm-1am, and trust me, it was crazy fun. We partied all night and wound down the evening by serenading each other with, “Don’t Stop Believing.”
Then began the painful process of saying goodbye. Watching 500 teenagers come together to say goodbye is a saddening sight. I don’t want to become too morose, so I’ll skim over the hours of crying. Let’s just say these relationships will last a while, believe me. We even created a Google doc to compile contact information!
Tej and Me dressed up for the ball
Rahul, Caio, me and Tej
Rahul, Kolin, Matt, Tej and Caio, otherwise known as “The Guys”
I hope you all are having a great summer meeting new people, travelling and hopefully relaxing, too. The next post will come from Ireland!