Making More than Memories During J-term

Sitting on the outdoor patio of Pulpit Brewing Company on a beautiful Tuesday evening celebrating my friend Erin’s 21st birthday with two other friends, Meredith and Alyssa, I had a moment of déjà vu. Nearly four months ago, the four of us were also hanging out together, out at a bar on a mild January evening.

Granted, there were a few difference between this evening and that one from four months ago; we were nearly 4,000 miles away from Decorah, in another country (the United Kingdom), and I actually was allowed to partake in the drinking part of the evening since at 19 years old, I was legal there.

Yet beyond these geographically and legal differences, there was one more distinction; I hardly knew any of them!

Obviously, this is a bit of an exaggeration; Meredith has been my RA for nearly two years now, so obviously I was well acquainted with her before the trip. Yet Alyssa and Erin were two people who I had seen around campus now and then but had never actually known.

Two countries, twenty cities, and twenty-two days later, I was best friends with them all. After three weeks of paper writing, city exploring, and spending pretty much 24/7 with each other, it was difficult not to be! Fast forwarding to today, it is incredible to think that without this trip abroad, friends like Alyssa, Erin, and Meredith would basically be nonexistent in my life. I will forever be grateful for the experiences I gained and the growth I made during my three weeks abroad; knowing that I also gained some new and wonderful people in my life makes my time abroad that much sweeter.

Going into this past J-term, I knew that it would be a time where I would make memories that would last a lifetime—little did I know that I would more importantly make friends that would last a lifetime too.

A picture from our evening down at Pulpit Brewing Company.

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