Time is a lot like looking at a map: the drive was hours long, but on the veined paper, all the ground you’ve covered amounts to a grand total of 3 inches. Looking back at this semester is a lot like a map of the world: I’ve been a few places, done a few things, but now I’m going back to Atlanta. Life will return to normal Georgia Tech days of searching for a seat in the CULC and waiting for the blue route.

But I don’t think I’ll be the same.

The best part of Georgia Tech-Lorraine is that it presents you with a very distinct choice: you can try something new or you can stay where you are. It’s a choice we get every day, but it’s presented with more boldness here: it’s in the sound of a train on the tracks and in the conversations with friends about weekend plans. Living abroad can change a lot of things; of course, the degree of that depends on how far you delve into the lives here. The best way to do it is thrust yourself headlong into the experience.

I’ve grown up a lot this semester – and maybe you’ve seen some of that in the blogs, I’m not sure. I’ve made friendships that I’ll cherish and memories that I can revisit in times of reflection, and I’ve learned things about myself (for example, I’m better at speaking in front of people than I ever thought I was – especially if I am passionate about the topic). A huge thank you to everyone who I’ve met along the way, and all those with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working.

This semester has been life-changing for me – on the same level of sliced bread, I’d say. In all the conversations I’ve had with friends and peers, that’s a common descriptor of our time here at Georgia Tech-Lorraine: life-changing. Sometimes it takes a change of frame to see the picture in a different way, and Georgia Tech-Lorraine is just the frame I needed.

Thanks for sticking with me through the semester. I wish you all the best!