Colorful life in colorless Aberdeen

It is done. After all the joys and sorrows my final year at Aberdeen University is tumbling towards a successful end. Although it is an ending that I would not expect to see even in my wildest dreams, it is still an ending. Where should i begin? I guess it is important to mention that the story of the last three months won’t be that different from what most of other students are going through. My story will be just one of many affected by the current situation. For me personally, it is a story of opposites.

On the one hand I feel a great relief about the fact that I successfully finished one of the major chapters of my life. On the other hand I feel sorry, that my parents won’t ever seen me graduate. The final ceremony at the University of Aberdeen is not an occasion that would scream “fun” to you. However, the feeling of satisfaction and catharsis would be a welcome ending to my life in Aberdeen, especially when it could have been shared with the people that I am the closest with. The city itself has not heard a proper “goodbye” from me either. When the Coronavirus crisis started, I decided to abruptly leave the UK and I travelled  to the Swedish city of Lund, where my partner currently lives, and where I am now accepted to the Master of Psychology programme. I did so since I did not know whether or not Sweden would accept me once my master’s programme is supposed to start. At that time I could not have expected that Sweden would take the most liberal approach to regulations connected with Coronavirus. I subsequently finished my thesis here as well as my final exams and to this day I am not sure when or how I will be returning back to Czech Republic. On top of that I left three big boxes of personal belongings in Aberdeen. Here I have to express my greatest thanks to my friends in Aberdeen who packed everything for me and successfully sent it back to Czech Republic. My experience from the last 3 months is due to these reasons, and many others, quite bittersweet.

            In retrospect, the experience that I gained from my “Aberdeen Adventures” are similarly polarized. First, the expectations that I had when first arriving were quickly diminished by the disappointment from a city where I was supposed to stay for the following 4 years. On the other hand, the grayness of the city where I lived was often replaced by the colorful group of friends which shared the same problems as me. The place which I originally almost hated, turned into an environment where I learned to better respect others as well as myself. Aberdeen gave me a plethora of different experiences, however the feeling that remains is mostly the feeling of gratitude. I would have never survived this journey where it not for the people I hold closest in my life. The greatest thanks belongs to my friends, whose presence made my life there much more bearable, my family, who supported me regardless of how negative my thoughts and opinions were, and last but not least the Kellner Family Foundation without which none of this would be possible. The fact that I will not be able to show all of these people how I look in a graduation gown is rather disappointing. Nevertheless, I will approach everything that transgressed in the last four years with a positive mindset, even after all the hurdles that I had to overcome on this thorny road. Aberdeen was never truly positive or negative just as life is never neither black or white. Aberdeen has taught me, that although unappealing, different shades of gray will be something which I will encounter for the rest of my life.

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