Two years ago I had the opportunity to study theater in London, on a different study abroad program. When I got on the plane to go home I knew that I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye and so I applied to this program more than a year later. During this time I’ve had the privilege to gain new experiences with some pretty darn nifty people, but I’ve also had the opportunity to go back to some familiar places that I originally saw during my first time here.
This Wednesday, we had the chance to go visit Stratford-Upon-Avon and visit the grave of William Shakespeare. However, I already visited this site before with the previous group of students. Rather than seeing just the tombstones in the church and the graveyard surrounding Holy Trinity Church, I saw the ghosts of my friends walking along the paths and heard the echo of their voices laughing about jokes that were told long ago and are now forgotten.
When applying for this program I had no idea that I would become so nostalgic for the people and friends I had made before- but here I am. The people I’m with now are absolutely incredible, funny, and kind- I have a feeling if I go back again to Trinity a third time I’ll remember them in a similar way. Though this time I couldn’t help but follow my memories and walk behind the church and luxuriate in the feeling of familiarity. I stared at the River Avon, watching as it touched the low hanging leaves of a nearby willow tree and took a moment to remember my old friends and really feel the excitement of what is yet to come and the new memories that I’ll make here now. Like Ophelia from Hamlet I stared into a river remembering those who are not here with me now, but unlike her, I’m walking away to create friendships and continue to craft and live the stories that I’ll tell years from now.