The Finale, Finally.

Trip Start Aug 05, 2012
Trip End Jan 11, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Sunday, December 16, 2012

My time in America came to an end yesterday, and I am still in disbelief about it all being over- where did the semester go?!  The past four and a bit months have flown by, and although I feel as though I needed longer, I am ecstatic to have finished my degree! Now to wait for graduation in May.. 

The last two weeks of semester were spent doing projects, seeing the odd basketball game and doing final exams from the comfort of my own home!  I only had two exams during 'finals week', both of which were online, open book and discussable with friends- one of which was multi-choice! Exam time here just means a lot more time for yourself (although all my freshman girls at Hopi were being good and studying their little bottoms off).  My only 'real' exam was sat in class a fortnight before finals week, just as class would've been run on an activity day- except we weren't allowed to talk.  The grading system here is quite different- although the feelings about the grades are the same; A (there are no +s or -s) is 90-100%, B is 80-89%, C is 70-79% and so on and so forth.  I managed, with minimal work done to get an A for my 4th year paper, a B for my 3rd, another A for my 2nd year and a C for my freshman paper that I found to be rather a chore- and one I avoided doing work for at all costs.

Winter hit Tucson in the last week of being there- we dropped from mid 20s on Sunday to 14 and then to an average of 9 degrees for my last few days.  On one of the last warm days, Selina, Chris, Imari and I went to the 4th Ave Winter Street Fair to enjoy the sun, food and art- and get some last presents for people back home! It was lovely weather, which Selina and I enjoyed in summer dresses.  We both tried philly cheesesteaks- surprisingly a lot yummier than I was expecting- as well as half the fresh-made lemonade flavours under the sun.  

Goodbyes are hard.  Saying good bye to Tucson and Hopi was easy, but the people I've met here have been beautiful and great friendships were made.  Sneha left on my last Sunday in America, which was difficult- I did manage to avoid crying though.  One by one the girls in Hopi headed home, leaving me with a very quiet hall in which to pack up my American life.  Before they all left we had a secret Santa night (my gift was very well received), and Olivia, who turned out to be my Santa, got me a beautiful, engraved bracelet.  Goodbye events with my international friends were light hearted- a final party at College Place, and all finally heading out to Ellen's house for a drinking night before finals week, and a group dinner on University boulevard in everyone's final days.  Saying goodbye to Imari was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do, and even though we'd both been crying all week, we managed to bawl our eyes out some more at the airport for a length of time.
Packing was time consuming, even after sorting through all the crap in my room many times beforehand.  Luckily I had the help of Selina for the majority of the task and we packed 40lbs and 7 oz into a box kindly donated to my cause by Ellen, for shipping back to New Zealand.  My suitcase weighed 45 lbs and my carry-on is probably about the same haha.

Anyway I've rambled far too long about sentimental things and no one can actually be bothered with that unless they were involved with it!  I am currently in a location unknown to the social media world, aka Facebook, but after I've surprised some people I'll post about my new location. Currently waiting on pictures I've asked to steal from some friends before I post this, which shouldn't be too long.  Time to hop off and get food.. Auf Wiedersehen! xx

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