The weather isn’t growing on me. I have a nice quality raincoat with a zip-out liner and a hood, and my umbrella is practically surgically attached to my body. I am always prepared for the weather—I knew there would be rain. But no one told me that there are only about six hours of daylight in the winter, that the weather could go from perfect to hurricane-force storms in a matter of minutes, and that I would be afraid sometimes that Allison, my housemate and fellow Mitchell, would get carried away by the wind.
But everything else has grown on me. The customary cup of tea in the evenings—and every other time of the day—with the housemates, the pace of life, the atmosphere of UCD, the buzz in city center. My classmates have caught me multiple times referring to Dublin as “home,” and I haven’t bothered correcting myself. The Christmas season was particularly enjoyable.
Well, it was particularly enjoyable if I neglect to mention finals and end of term assignments—I love my program, but school doesn’t get more stressful than the end of term with projects, papers, and exams occupying every moment of the day.
Either way, Allison, in all her perk and spirit, decorated the house and spread the Christmas spirit through Secret Santa with all six housemates and customary American Christmas films. It was such a great night, with all of our housemates together, eating biscuits and drinking tea, laughing at Will Ferrell in Elf. My favorite times in Ireland have been nights like those, drinking tea and talking about everything, from differences between American and Irish cultures to our most embarrassing moments.
As the end of term drew to an end, six of us were treated to a wonderful weekend in Limerick by Michael McNamara, Paul Hayes, and Peter Keogh. Determined to expose us to more Irish culture, most of us saw our very first live Munster rugby match. I can’t begin to describe my gratitude at their generosity. It is perhaps the most fun weekend I have spent in Ireland these past four months. I am constantly amazed at the opportunities the US-Ireland Alliance has afforded me and I truly am thankful for everything that it has provided.
Let’s just say that next term has a lot to live up to.