What did i do to deserve this beautiful life?

I knew that I wanted this next blog post to be about how lucky I feel to be in the situation I am in, and how special this time has been for me.  Literally as i was clicking off of my Facebook and going to wordpress, I noticed this status from Dane Cook:


It totally fit the theme of what I knew I was going to blog about, almost serendipitously.

After the dust settled from the metaphorical “explosion” of work that has been my life recently (5 assignments due in the span of a week and a half) I have taken the last two days to reflect on my first term of grad school… which is also my first 4-ish months living in England, and meeting tons of new people.  I really don’t know what the hell I did to deserve this … how did I get so lucky?

I have made a ridiculous amount of friends these last 4 months.  This group of 80 or so students that I am lucky to be a part of is so close and tightly knit.  We really are like a little family (no shortage of drama either!).  I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if every year of students is like this, or are we different possibly, could we just be lucky enough to be a group who really gets along well?

Last night was our X-mas party for the department (Exeter’s College of Life and Environmental Sciences) and it was fantastically amazing. Professors and postgrads alike chatting, dancing, and just having a wonderful time. It was the release everyone needed after a tense term full of work, and everybody too advantage of it, and had a great time.  It was so nice to see these professors, who are often deified in the eyes of students, mingle and dance and enjoy this occasion with us…. pretty much as equals.

That’s one thing that I’ve learned about grad school, I don’t know if it’s everywhere, or just here… but they really treat us like equals, which is so empowering!

After shaking off the haze of last night’s drinking bonanza, a large group of us ended up at the Gylly Beach cafe having coffees, cakes, and hot chocolates while chatting about everything under the sun.  It was interesting to step back and look at the last two days of my life: one day was a massive party, full of rambunctious antics.  Today, on the other hand, was relaxed, calm, and most importantly… sober.  I could not have scripted a better way to end the term, after all of us put such hard work and intense hours into finishing everything, these last two days were the perfect cap.

It’s sad to think, but with quite a few people doing their research abroad next term, I really don’t know if there will be many opportunities left for that large of a group of us to get together and enjoy each other like that.  It’s really sad to face that possibility, but it just means that I’ll be sure to hang onto these past couple days in my memory forever (minus the bits that i can’t remember!).

This past few months has taught me so much about life and family.  I miss my family and friends back home so much, but the people I have been so lucky to meet have now become a new extension of my family. They are all an integral part of me and have in some way shaped the person that I am and will be forever.  I only hope that I have had the same impacts on them that they’ve had on me.

Traveling brings things into your life that you can’t get ANY OTHER WAY.  I have been so fortunate to go to so many different places so far during my life, and with each new place I have met tons of people… to the point now that I literally can say that I have family all over the world.  It’s something so unique and special to meet someone in a far away country and bond with them to the point that they become family… not “like family” … real family.  We should appreciate it year round, but this is the time of year where people think about it the most (or they should at least).

So I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this beautiful life … but I definitely am lucky as hell.

This post seems like a major ramble as I scan over it … but I’m okay with that.

Enjoy your families everybody 🙂


About mdnichol87

Marine Biologist studying towards a Master's in Conservation and Biodiversity at the University of Exeter.
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