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The Struggle to Stay in Touch

I never really minded time zones before. They were just divisions in time that never applied to me. I had always lived on the East coast, as did my friends and family, so I never gave them much thought. That is until now.

I’m currently studying abroad in Norwich, England, which puts me five hours ahead of everyone back home. And while five hours may not seem like a lot, it is. It means that when I’m eating lunch most of my friends aren’t even awake yet. It means getting woken up by a text at 3am on a Friday night because my friends’ nights are just beginning. It means not being able to call my mom because she’s in the middle of her workday, so my ‘how do I cook this’ question will have to wait.

While all of these little changes will take some getting used to, the time difference has made me appreciate my relationships even more. Now when I FaceTime my friends and family, it’s a little more special. It means we both made the effort to line up our schedules because we want to stay connected. We want to keep in touch and hear about each other’s lives because we’re not in the same place anymore. The time difference has also changed the kind of conversations I can have with my friends. Now they can actually tell me things that are happening on campus because I have no idea. Meanwhile, I get to share with them my experiences at a new school. Like the fact that it’s a ten-minute walk just to get to the main campus. I know, weird. So even though there may be five hours and an entire ocean between myself and my friends and family, they are definitely worth staying up for.

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Alexandra Loh

Dickinson '19

Alex is a senior English major at Dickinson College. Alex enjoys traveling, cooking, and watching college basketball.