As fate would have it, my last day in the United States before I leave for UK is the Fourth of July, marking both the day of the US’s birth and emancipation from the English, and as well the death of my Alma Mater’s most famous alumnus, Thomas Jefferson. The more I think about it, I start to realize how uncanny some details of this trip are. When writing my application to the Fulbright Commission, I made sure to include references to King’s College London and the College of William and Mary’s shared heritage in the British Monarchy. It is hard to ignore the parallels between the histories of these two universities across the pond from one another.
I often think about W&M’s deep history that dates almost a century before the nation in which it resides, and I am astonished at its journey and tribulations. I love to walk in ancient campus and imagine young Jefferson strolling the cobblestone alongside me. I so often wish to pull him forward into this world that was so heavily influenced by his ideas. I want him to see his campus as it stands now, still dedicated to the pursuits that he cherished, and how those values have flourished in this New World. It is only so appropriate that this summer I am going to be pulled into the roots of this institution and experience from where it all came.
I am still in such disbelief that I received this opportunity have my first international experience in the crossroads of the world and at one of it’s most prestigious institutions. I can’t help but feel that I am somewhat of an impostor in this scenario, taking the place of someone much more deserving than myself. I am just going to keep my mouth shut and enjoy it as much as I can before someone figures out that they sent the wrong Nathan Owen to London.
My bags are packed, and Independence Day is tomorrow. I am going to be leaving this country very proud of where I came from, with the intention of better understanding where it came from. I honestly don’t have any idea of what to expect, except, perhaps, fog.