What defines a moment? According to Oxford Dictionary Online, a moment is defined as “a very brief period of time” or it can be defined as “a particular stage in the development of something.” For me, this year abroad at Leeds is my moment – my best moment. This year abroad is a brief, yet transformational, significant stage in the development of my life.
I believe that our perception in life is shaped by the places we have been, the friends we make, and the experiences we have – and the rich accumulation of all of these moments guide us towards living a life full of friendship, cultural and self-awareness, and a deeper understanding of our lives. And ultimately, it is living a life with fulfilling moments that we are able to grow in ourselves.
While reflecting upon the last three months at Leeds, I have realized that my time in this incredible place is limited and that I have to make the most out of my time abroad. It may sound cliché, but, it’s the honest truth. If this is the only moment I have in my life to live in England, to form friendships that I would not otherwise have, and to travel around Europe, then you better believe that I will make the most of this moment abroad.
Moving to an unfamiliar city and county is not an easy thing to do. You have to be open for change and willing to adapt so that you can appreciate this transformational and significant time abroad. Over the past three months in Leeds I have met some of the most beautiful, loyal, adventurous, understanding, and humorous people who have become friends that I will keep for the rest of my life. This moment abroad, and who I am now, is greatly shaped by the new and lasting friendships that I have formed here in Leeds. I have travelled to incredible places and by doing so I have gained a new perspective on my outlook of life. I travelled across Ireland to explore the Cliffs of Moher and the vibrant city of Dublin, I stood in the ruins of English Medieval Cathedrals, I was enthused by the works of art in the National Museums in London, I hiked to the top of mountains in the Peak District in England in order to see the magnificent landscape around me, I went bike riding in the lavish gardens of the Château de Versailles in France, and I felt inspired when I saw, first hand, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum in Paris. It is these defining moments of my life that have dramatically altered the way I see the world in the past three months. I have developed a greater appreciation for my friends and my family, I learned new things about myself and who I want to be, I gained a new perspective on my art history studies by traveling around Europe, and I now understand that we have to make the most out of each and every moment.
The cultivation of memories and adventures that I have had the past three months is what identifies this whole study abroad experience as my best moment so far in my life and I can’t wait to see what adventures await for me next semester in Leeds.
by Catherine Doucette – Saint Anselm College – USA