"The One with a World of Friendships"

By Jessica MacDonald

While getting ready to go back for my last year of Law School at Strathclyde, I was reflecting on this past year. When most people study abroad in Europe, the advice I heard was “travel as much as you can, because it is so cheap!” and while this is true. I found something close to my heart, friendships from around the world. Now don’t get me wrong, I travelled a bit around Scotland over the past year and I highly recommend it! This country is beautiful, but I will save that for another post. What I want to talk about are the friendships I made, particularly with my flatmates over the course of the year. All of us stayed in Student Accommodation on campus in Birckbeck Court. This I highly recommend as you meet so many people, from so many different places. Most students are on an exchange or doing a degree abroad like myself.

I guess you could say it was kind of like being in an episode of “friends”. You could probably title the events that took place over the course of the semester like “the one where they go to Trivia Night” or “the one with all the sangria”. Now when I compare us to the show ‘friends’, I don’t mean that everyone in my flat was like one of the characters from ‘friends’. Although this was debated on several occasions. What I mean is that each one of us was so different, but somehow that was what made our friendship work so well. Because we all had something different to offer.

 These friendships are one which I will always remember for many reasons, we became like a second family; our family away from home. We had Thanksgiving dinners, brunches, birthday celebrations, and even just chill nights watching movies in the flat. Every weekend morning at around 12, we would all end up in our living room talking about the night before which became a sort of ritual in our flat. I also remember telling my flatmates about how we bag milk in Canada, or how we pronounce the letter ‘Zed’ or ‘Zee’. This all led to us explaining our own cultures, and traditions in our own countries. 

When it came to the end of the semester both in December and May, it was a sad time because I had to say goodbye to these people who I became so close with over this period of a short time. Not only that but people who had supported me when I came home from a long day at school or just checked in to see how my day was going to the library. People who taught me how to make carbonara and introduced me to new cultures and languages, who made me laugh. When we started to leave one by one, we each had something for everyone to sign to commemorate our time in Birckbeck 16C.

From this past year, I have made some amazing friendships, so even though I may have not have travelled the world yet, I made friendships from around the world. I know that no matter where I go, I will be welcomed with open arms from my friends. This is one of the most valuable experiences of being abroad.

How do we stay in contact? Well, Facebook has made that easy. We still talk in our group chat or Snapchat on a pretty regular basis asking for updates and what is going on in everyone’s life. It is honestly like we never left our flat. So for everyone who is living with new flatmates over the semester, get to know them because they could be friendships which can last forever.

So to America, Norway, France, Spain and even Canada thanks for making these people become such a large part of my life. If it was not for Strathclyde and all of us living in Student Accommodation I would have never met these wonderful people. I hope we can all see each other’s world one day, and have a reunion every 5 years because ‘friends’ needs a reunion.