After walking Eugenia to her taxi last night, I stayed up with Anne, Lexie, and Mariana to watch the sunrise. We invited other friends to come and ran around campus to take pictures with the different statues. The feeling that we wouldn't be seeing each other must have begun to sink in because we were on cloud nine and all we could think about was making the most out of our last few hours together. We went to a lounge in Hartley afterwards. I remembered that Mariana said she was an opera singer so we all convinced her to sing to us! She was really reluctant, but when she started, all of our jaws dropped. Mariana is pretty petite but she was belting out Carmen like any other opera singer. Sadly, the rest of us didn't have any major talents to share.
|Mariana, Ann, Lexie, and I on Lowe Steps|
We immediately knocked out the moment we got back to our rooms. I was supposed to wake up at 7 to say goodbye to everyone, but I overslept a little. I had to just brush my teeth, check-out with my RA, and exchange hugs and tears with my hall mates. Lexie, Cassie, Anne, Mariana, and all of my other RA sisters, I’m truly grateful to have gotten to know you guys these past three weeks. Because we come from all over the world, we may not physically be able to meet again, but I’m sure that we will keep in contact and I hope that we will cross paths again. Our adventures were spectacular and I wouldn't want to spend those precious moments with anyone else. Needless to say, I will miss them so much!
I was limited on time and a lot of people were still sleeping, so I had to leave after a few farewells. Mariana graciously helped me down to the shuttle. We hugged for a while before I started crying. This was it. We were really leaving New York. I know I’ll return again, but it will never be the same experience. The places I went, the people I met, and the things I learned can’t be repeated the same way. On a less sensitive note, the shuttle driver was really impatient and mad that the whole cohort wasn't there earlier. I was so emotional about leaving that I didn't really bother being worried or angry about the shuttle driver. In this moment, I was immersed in my own feelings. It may sound silly and selfish to be so affected by something that’s lasted three weeks, but it was extremely hard for me to walk away unaffected.
|Our last selfie!|
Although the plane ride was a little longer than I would have liked, there’s not much anyone can do about it until we develop teleportation machines! I started on some of my work on the plane and started to tear up again as I recollected the memories I had. Emily and I sat next to each other and looked through our pictures together. After lunch and another short flight, the Columbia cohort was back home and we were looking at the same breakfast place that we ate at a month ago.
This month went by so fast and I can't express how happy I am. It was hard to let everything go, but I'm still ecstatic that this month even occurred! Everyone has taken turns saying goodbye, but I know that the cohort will be able to meet again and anything's possible in the future. Maybe some of us cohort members or Columbia high school students will meet again in college!