It usually starts with a flutter in the chest and a feeling of butterflies in the stomach. That feeling of romantic nostalgia that forces you to take a deep breath as you soak up the views of the English landscape around you. The Lake District is an area that inspires the most talented writers and the most simplistic people. From foggy views to waterfall climbing, the adventures to be had in the District are vast, making it a special experience as I share it with the students of Harlaxton College Spring 2017.
Here I go talking about being back at the Manor after a four-year absence following my time as a student in 2012. A trip that is unlike any other in Europe, the Lake District encourages students to become one with nature. For someone like me, that can be a task. However, as I reflect back on my time visiting the Lake District as a student while sitting in a café today overlooking Windermere Lake, I’m reminded of how surreal it felt to be exploring the most beautiful parts of the English countryside.
The second time around, however, it’s much different (better.)
This is the time in the middle of the semester that I start getting serious and sappy. When I was a student I remember how easy it was to get caught in the excitement around me (making new friends, trying to cram so many trips into the semester, etc.) This time I’m able to mentally compartmentalize my job from my Harlaxton 2.0 experience. I know that our time is coming to a close and I remember the struggle of leaving the place we’ve all called home for so long. The one thing that makes this semester so much better than my first are the students.
I’m usually not one to get attached to anyone. Nor am I person who gets warm and fuzzy easy, but getting to share this Lake District experience with the students I’ve grown to known and love is irreplaceable. I sit down and converse with them every day. I canoe with them. I get to know them as a person and not as student who I’m responsible for chaperoning. And it’s a true honor.
So my trip to the Lake District this past weekend was an eye-opening experience. It has hit me that I only have a few more weeks with the Spring 2017 students. And while I don’t want the semester to end, I’m reminded that our time together is precious and brief. I look forward to the remaining time I have with the students and prepare for our separation on April 19.
The Lake District is almost like a magical land. It surrounds you in a fairytale environment of woods, fog, lakes and moss. For me, it engulfs me in nostalgia and holds me back, encouraging me to take a deep breath and absorb the beauty of the landscape (and people) around me.