Cole Taylor is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2016, sharing their story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A journalism and media writing major at Lasell College, they are studying abroad in Dublin this semester.
In this week's post, Cole wraps up their semester in Ireland and says goodbye. We'll hear from them one last time next week when they're back in the US. Safe travels, Cole!
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The only way to begin this post is by taking a deep breath and saying, “Wow.” I have officially made it to the final days of my study abroad journey and in retrospect, the time flew by. There is nothing I would change about this experience and I cannot believe it is over.
This blog, my final blog written in Ireland is dedicated to several people - individuals and groups who helped me along the way on this beautiful journey.
First and foremost, I want to thank my mother and father. I could write a whole blog dedicated to you two, but in the simplest way, you both are the reason I am here. Of course, I fought and did a ton of work to get here on my own, but your support – your unconditional and undying support is the reason I made it this far. There was a time I thought this was never going to happen, but you never lost faith in me. When I left for Ireland, I did not know how emotional it would actually be. In the moments of saying goodbye to you both, I realized how much you have sacrificed for me; all to see your child’s dream come true. You are selfless and gracious. You are kind and supportive. Without you, I could not have achieved all of this. Nothing amounts to the love of two amazing parents—absolutely nothing. Every time I journeyed to a new place, I thought “Wow, I wish they could see this” and that just shows what kind of special place you hold in my heart. Not many people my age can say they have seen so much of the world and I can all because you pushed me and never once doubted me. Since you could not see every country with me, I wanted to make sure you knew I was thinking of you. Thank you for absolutely everything. I love you both more than I have ever loved anything before and I am so grateful and honored to be your daughter. Because of you, my biggest dream in life has already come true.
To my amazing sister and brother-in-law, thank you. You have been two of the most supportive people in my life for a long, long time—even before my decision to study abroad. When I did choose to study abroad, you were both so excited for me. You had no doubt that this adventure was cut out for someone like me and if it weren’t for you both, I would not have so much to look forward to when I come home. I am incredibly lucky to have you both in my life for several reasons and this…this journey was just one of those reasons. You supported me, you guided me, you helped prepare me, and you have stayed in touch. I am blessed. Thank you sissy and Mike for all you do for me. I look forward to this summer and the rest of my life knowing I have you two by my side.
Courtney Rae, where do I begin? Your support and love through these four months has been everything I have needed and more. I did not want to come here and just “get through it.” I wanted to come here, pursue my dream, and enjoy every moment this experience had to offer. Because of you and your selfless attitude, I did just that. We have grown incredibly strong as a couple through this time and I could not be more thankful to have someone like you. You make me believe in myself and that is something many people search for. We were blessed to be able to communicate daily and share stories, frustrations, memories, and special moments. I missed a lot while I was gone, but the most important thing about that is we worked through it—together. I look forward to coming home and seeing you again. Thank you for everything you have done for me leading up to this journey and throughout the whole ride. You are one of a kind and I love you.
To all of my family and friends, I have to thank you all for all your support and encouragement. You were all excited for me and I appreciate everything you have done. The financial support meant everything to me and it led me to having one hell of a time abroad. Your emotional support never went unrecognized and your overall genuine interest in my journey was all I needed. I am blessed to have the family and friends that I have. My dream to see the world developed at a young age and I think it was solidified by the strong foundation I have with you all who support me unconditionally. I love you guys.
Susanne, Hayley, and Darren, I owe you a huge thank you for all you have done for me this semester. You three have demonstrated professionalism as well as genuine care for all of us students and it has never gone unrecognized. We were blessed by you. As program directors, you guided us in all the right directions and helped solve problems when needed. You treated us well and supported us through everything. It means a lot to lean on someone who is not only a professional at what they do, but someone who is also a friend. Thank you all for making this a positive and enjoyable experience. I will stay in touch with you in the future.
Fellow students and friends, thank you for giving me some of the best friendships and memories. I truly believe we were a blessed bunch of CAPA students. We all seemed to get along and make the most out of this experience together. I want to thank you guys for being so awesome. I hope to follow you guys on social media and maybe even get together with some of you in the near future. Good luck with the rest of your college careers and the start to your new chapters in life.
Stephanie Sadler, thank you for all your patience, guidance, and advice on my blogging this semester. As the social media strategist, I can only imagine you are constantly busy with updating the world around us on what the students are up to. I never once felt hesitant about sending my blogs to you for review and posting them. You were always prompt and professional in doing so and I appreciate all your help with this responsibility. I thoroughly enjoyed being the official blogger for Dublin this spring. Thank you for the opportunity.
CAPA The Global Education Network, it is hard to say a simple thank you when there is so much more I would love to say. I had the best experience through your program, hands down. There is not one time that I felt neglected, misinformed, or mistreated and that is so important to having a positive adventure. The day I chose to study with CAPA was the best decision I could have made along the way. I will make sure to recommend CAPA from this day forward and always express the satisfaction I gained from the program. Thank you for everything.
To everyone else who helped me along the way, thank you. Study abroad is more than I ever imagined. It was full of the unexpected and it opened my eyes to different perspectives. I am truly grateful for all the people in my life who wished me the best. You all made this possible.
Ireland is a beautiful country. Knowing I leave on Saturday is quite emotional for a few reasons. This same group of people will never do this again. I will not return to Ireland for probably a long time. Also, it does not hit you until the final week that you changed and you conquered. In these final days, I have felt accomplished and thankful. As my departure closes in, I begin to feel nervous because I have to re adapt all over again. I am anxious to see everyone and get back on American soil, but Ireland has become home for four months and I will miss it. I never saw study abroad being possible given the path I took in the years leading up to it, but I made it here. I now have one of the most amazing experiences under my belt and I have countless memories and stories that will live on for years.
This journey was incredible. It is hard to say goodbye. Another chapter ended and another one beginning.
My final blog will be posted after I return home to the States. It is then that I will give you a look at my homecoming and how I feel. I am sure it will be amazing.
Until then, Godspeed Ireland.
Nicole's journey continues every Friday so stay tuned.