It will never be the same, never again, that's for sure. But what can you do about it? The so-called post-Erasmus depression that everyone goes through as soon as they return home is more of a “shock of returning back to reality”. And the worst feeling is that no one around you can understand you anymore.
At first, it is nice. Everyone is asking you to tell them stories about these unique moments you lived. But after a while, they get tired, they no longer care. But you have more to say and share. Those who do not understand are not to blame. And then, suddenly, you feel more alone than ever, even though you are finally back in your country. Even if nothing has changed, from buildings to people, you now see everyone completely differently and you can't explain why.
It will never be the same. You won't go out to the same bars anymore. But you will easily overcome all this. And the next shock is when you realise that some of those people, you will never see again in your life, and you don’t want to accept that. However, the world is so small, if you are willing to try, you can meet them again. But not everyone has the same will as you.
It will never be the same. You will no longer see the same people every day because everyone has returned back to their normal life. They are too busy with their lives, so they've kept Erasmus as just a good memory. And that's what everyone should do: keep the good memories. But you don't feel that way. You're very sad and you can't explain it. But don't worry. It is good to be sad.
Two years later, you meet almost all of your Erasmus friends. And you ask them exactly the same question: "What do you miss the most about Erasmus"? and almost everybody gives the same response "Not giving a damn about anything".
And that's the biggest problem. Because during Erasmus you didn’t care about the bad grades, what time to wake up in the morning or what to eat. Now, all of a sudden you must care. All you have left in the end are the people you met, and you are trying, by all means, to keep them in your life. Not everyone will stay in the end, simply because it’s not the same anymore, but it doesn’t matter. These people have helped you in every way to understand what you want. In the end, you will know, you've learned a lot and you've found yourself.
Two years later you are in the same town. It's not the same anymore, because they are not here. Still, you are happy. This city reminds you of one thing: these moments that you can't share with anyone anymore. These memories belong to you and you only. It is good to be happy because eventually, you realise that you are lucky to live this life and despite the minor misfortunes, you enjoy it to the fullest. Because some people couldn't enjoy it so much. Because for some, the Erasmus was and will remain the last memory. And the best one.
This text is dedicated to my beloved Erasmus friend Diego Armando Soltero Preciado, who passed away two years ago on 22/11/2017. Diego was one of the sweetest, funniest and most of all courageous people who did everything to live his life to the fullest. He was 23 years old.
Written by Katerina Xagorari