My heart cleaves writing my last blog as a Mitchell Scholar. On one hand, being forced to look back over this year and all of the memories I’ve made in Ireland makes my stomach sink: does it all have to end? On the other hand, I know well that I have grown so much from the experience in a multitude of ways, and I feel privileged to join the ranks of Mitchell Alumni and the diverse, ambitious lives they’ve led since finishing their time in Ireland.
For many of my (younger, hipper) co-Mitchells this year, part of the experience has been to figure out what those paths might look like, whether in academia or the working world. I’m a little more set in my ways, and have one more year of medical school to go before starting a pediatrics residency. Perhaps it was because I am already on this fairly fixed career path that I felt free to try new things both in my master’s and beyond. Whatever the reason, I am a firm believer in Mitchell Magic, and that I have emerged from this year more curious about the world and willing to take risks in it than I ever have been. I certainly have a lot of new friends’ kinfolk to look up all over the US this summer.
I already know how I will miss the Guinness (obvious) and the burritos (less-so), the nights talking about politics in pubs (I, the American-in-residence expected always to have a “hot take”) and the mornings sipping coffee talking about the night before (“breakfast for buttons” at Fallon & Byrne, future Mitchells!). I’ll long for the accents and my favorite phrases, and do my best to use them honorably back home (the phrases, not the accents). After a year of scurrying south to Wexford, north to Antrim, and west to Kerry and Donegal, there is still so much to see when I return. So, while this may be my last few weeks in Ireland as a Mitchell, I know that this year has indeed built a connection that will be lifelong. Knowing this makes it a little easier to welcome the Class of 2018 Mitchell Class. Cead mile failte!