Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Journey Ends

My last morning at the University of Pennsylvania began with gray skies and rain. My mood matched the weather. I considered the symbolic importance of the rain, then finished packing and saying goodbye to Maayan. Maayan wrote goodbye letters for Julia and I, which was almost my undoing. (I will miss Maayan so much.)  As we left the dorm for the last time I felt an unexpected pang of sentimentality and nostalgia. 

After checking out of the Summer Discovery program and returning my keys, it was time to leave for the airport. Luckily, or unluckily, we had six hours to wait in the airport. We passed the time with one giant meal at Chickie and Pete's, and an intense game of Munchkin Cthulhu, which I would have won, had it not been for a sudden and unexpected betrayal by a close friend. (Et tu Julia?) At last it was time to board the plane and leave Philadelphia once and for all. 

The plane ride was uneventful. I divided my time between talking with the people next to me and sleeping. It was with another pang of nostalgia that I realized our plane landed at the same gate we had departed from lo those many weeks ago.  In honor of this continuity, we opted to take our group picture in front of the gate which marked the beginning and ending of our journey. 

Sunset over the bay
After that is was but a short walk to the baggage claim where we all reunited with our families, and the trip was officially over. I can't believe how much the trip changed me. Before going to UPenn, the prospect of going to college, especially on the East Coast was daunting. Now I am certain that I can and will do just that. I will always carry the memories of my time at Penn with me. 

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