Ellen Esterhay Photograph


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Back on the Hill

January 23, 2013   

I am back from studying abroad (I was in China for the past six months, if anyone is reading this for the first time). Driving up the Hill, it was strange realizing that I was actually back!  There are some changes I'll have to get used to, such as recognizing only half of the sophomore class and absolutely none of the freshmen. Other aspects of life on the Hill, though, will never change. For instance, there was a big snowfall we had the Sunday night that everyone was getting back, and today the weather was freezing cold. I missed you too, New York. 

It has been great running into old friends now that I'm back on campus. A lot of my friends in my year went abroad to a number of different places, like Costa Rica, Spain, Denmark, and Prague. It is amazing getting to hear everyone's stories, partly because we all had such different experiences. 

Another change is having my very own room this year! When students are abroad, they pick proxies to go to the mid-year housing lottery in their place, and choose for them using the absent students' lottery numbers. I picked a very trusted individual who snagged me a single (compete with private bathroom) in Skenandoa. It is a ways down the hill, so a long, cold trek to class, but worth it a million times over for the room.

Attending classes that use the English language feels very strange after hearing only Mandarin Chinese from my teachers for months on end. But after the agony I went through deciding between courses for this semester, I am really happy with what I ended up with!  My Fragile States class, an upper level comparative politics course, only has six students. I feel like that will lead to some interesting discussion (or else awkward silences, but I feel like it will be the former). Sadly, it is the first semester I won't be taking an art class, but I'm trying to fulfill requirements for my World Politics major. 

Hamilton, it's good to be back!