As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes you need to take a break.

Some of the Lafayette dorms.

At GTL it’s no different. As my funds began to dry up and each exam and quiz becomes more and more important, I have to start weighing things. The days of climbing mountains and visiting major cities are very sadly, coming to a close. Each time I choose to stay behind in Metz, my heart saddens, especially since I still have an active Eurail for another month. Yet, we’re here to learn, after all it is college.

So a “hard” weekend of studying commenced on Friday morning as I rolled out of bed. First came the procrastination, then Netflix and HBO, and finally I did what needed to be done. Reading up on my Thermodynamics and Fluids homework, I couldn’t help thinking of my friends: where had they gone this weekend? What awesome stories was I missing out on? And as the homework load kept piling up, these thoughts kept reoccurring. But, as previously mentioned, school is first.

It wasn’t all boring here at Lafayette though. I knew a few people who had decided to stay for the weekend as well. Luckily enough, they were some of my soccer buddies, so naturally we decided to play soccer. We scheduled everything and got the word out in case any other Lafayette stragglers wanted to play. But in the end it was just the three of us – Jack, Luke, and myself. We reached the fields around 6:50 pm. It was already pitch black outside; only the street lamps ensured we were on the right path to the stadium.

As Jack and I stretched out on the sidelines tying up our boots (cleats), Luke ran around the field with his usual crazed, endless energy. We only had one ball, and as we started passing around we felt at ease. Yet within a minute all that changed as almost instantly the field went black. We glanced up at the lights and noticed they had all gone out. I ran over to my bag, and as the smoke of my cold breath fogged my phone screen I saw that it was only 7:05. Why would the lights go out now? I asked myself.

“Awww man! What do we do now?” Luke asked. “You guys wanna play in the dark?” “Sure, were already here.” And so we did! At first we set up our phones for flashlights, pitching them against our bags and shoes creating a little channel of light. But if you ran more than 5 feet away, the “flashlights” lights turned into blinding and distracting rays of confusion.

So in the end, we just played in the darkness, no lights at all. Yeah, we missed the goal and each other half the time we shot or passed, but that was part of the fun. Just some friends playing pickup on a field in Metz. To tell you the truth, this has been a life changing semester. There have been so many things changing; where I live, cities I see, first time mountain climbing, first this or that. Yet, as the semester goes on I am constantly reminded of the first things I read about on the GTL website back in Atlanta – community! This word has been used many times in posts, my own included. It is true, living in Metz for a semester with only a 100 or so people creates a real community. New friendships are formed, not just between fellow Jackets, but relationships that span thousands of miles, knowing no borders. This is what Metz has given us above all.