There is one thing I want to talk to you. I say it as an International Research Intern Phenomenon (IRIP). And I’m not going to stay more here to tell you how amazing and exciting feel it is because actually, it is the most beautiful thing one can experience in their Bachelors/Masters. I’m here to talk to you about something that hardly anyone mentions, maybe because it is too painful to say; and I’m not talking about Post-Intern Experience, but to say “see you soon,” “goodbye,” in general to the last greetings.
Ok, so everything starts with a crossing of looks, you look at one or more people and from then on, you know that they will be one of the most precious and unforgettable people you will have during this period (and even afterward of course). The days pass, the bond gets strengthened, and by now, every day has lived in symbiosis, without even talking to understand what the other is thinking or feeling.
Then comes the last month, and the last week, and the fateful last day. Throughout the previous week, you spend all your time organizing leaving parties with random food and music, to bridge the gap that has been created slowly, but you are not ready to accept yet. Then comes the last evening of the last day, and you look back. You see the time you spent those 3 or 6 months in front of your eyes, those months of experiences, parties and nights, in 5 seconds. And like lightning in a clear sky, everything starts to fade, slowly. The eyes begin to swell with tears, and they all turn red, the temperature begins to rise, you feel a grip on your heart and the butterflies in your stomach. Slowly the puzzle is being completed, even if you don’t want to, but it must be that way. So you start heading towards the tram/bus/train station with those two or three suitcases (full of clothes and memories) and with that group of friends that have always been close to you, and you would like that moment to last forever. But there is not. One by one, you begin to embrace everyone, hug everyone, last glances to keep in mind the beautiful faces of the people you have known. Photos and letters appear impregnated with emotions, memories, and even some ink smears. Videos and selfies of the last greeting start, a few funny words, and you remember all the good times spent together and the promises made, to transform those tears of pain into ones of joy. Then, unfortunately, the time to get on that damn bus/tram/train comes, and as long as you wait for the doors to get close, you still look for the same look that you had found months before. The doors get closed and everything around you starts to become out of focus as if you were leaving for an unknown place, which nevertheless should be home, even if in a sense, “home” is that place you are leaving.
Maybe yes, I’m running away a little too much, but I could stay here for hours or days to talk to you about all of this. And once you get back home, to your parents, relatives, and friends you have left, you will feel like an outsider, unable to recognize yourself first, then what you have around you. Indeed, maybe you will start to think that nothing around you has changed; what has changed is YOU.