Coming home

WIlson contemplates what she’s learned in the time she spent abroad this semester.

Christasia WilsonIt’s hard to comprehend that my departure from London is within sight on Dec. 15. The opportunity to study abroad is something I hope other students will consider a valuable asset to their educational experience.

After almost three months, I have fallen in love with traveling. This wasn’t my first time abroad, but it was the first time I’d gone away for more than two weeks, completely independent.

Some of the strangers I met have become close friends during these 15 weeks. We fight and make up like family. These are friendships that will last a lifetime.

Studying abroad gave me the chance to go to eight countries, including England. Between making wishes at Rome’s Trevi fountain, stuffing my face with too much food in every country and experimenting with Liverpudlian fashion, I know my study abroad memories are superbly unique.

I’ve learned to take risks and go after the things I want in life.

Usually I’m shy upon meeting new people, but being here has forced me to get out of my comfort zone. Though I’m still not sure what I want to do post-graduation, studying abroad has given me a greater sense of self with which to navigate life. Previously, I stressed out about my future goals, but this experience has taught me that sometimes you just have to let things play out naturally.

That being said, students considering studying abroad should keep in mind the cost. I will be paying for this, even when it’s over. Studying abroad is not cheap, especially when you add all the money that is spent on food and travel.

Even when I’m wallowing in the sorrow of student loans, I will never regret coming to London. There is always a way to make it work, whether it be through loans, grants or scholarships. The outcome is worth all the money in the world.

Unfortunately, studying abroad can be guaranteed to tarnish a view of Main Campus. There is no bit of excitement in me to return next semester.

One thing I have missed is some of the American food that just wasn’t available overseas. The moment I step off the plane, I’m running to the nearest Jimbo’s to get a chicken Caesar salad, which doesn’t seem to exist in London – scrambled eggs, bacon and to top it all off, corned beef hash.

My one regret is that I never got to see the Royal Family. I’ll let it go until I return to London in the near future – by then, Prince Harry might be single and I may just have a chance.

As my fling with London comes to an end, it’s time to get back to my true love: New York City. This may be the end of my time in London, but this is definitely only the beginning of a new me.

Christasia Wilson can be reached at

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Coming Home

There was a time when being a Temple student was something to overcome. It was at some point under the Peter Liacouras presidency in the 1980s that the shift began. Still, no time has it

There was a time when being a Temple student was something to overcome. It was at some point under the Peter Liacouras presidency in the 1980s that the shift began.

Still, no time has it been clearer that Temple is distancing itself from its second tier status of the past than now, during the most active Homecoming Week in school history.

Last Friday at the National Constitution Center, Temple publicly announced it is in the midst of the largest capital drive North Broad has ever seen.

As reported in this edition of The Temple News, the university has raised $253 million since the private launch of a massive push to increase alumni donations came in July 2002. Temple is expecting nearly $100 million more by April 2009.

The school unveiled the most expansive advertising campaign any Owl has ever seen this semester, the $2.5 million ‘T’ Means More multimedia blitz that saw the Temple ‘T’ on billboards, buses and television. Regardless of its content, it’s tough for a Temple student to think anything but that our school is finally getting the due we know it deserves.

And the funny thing is, it’s working.

The 22-room Conwell Inn, sitting anonymously to many students at the intersection of Liacouras Walk and Berks Mall, has been steadily finding itself more desired since its opening six years ago, but it has never been busier than last week’s Homecoming.

“People have started booking at least six months in advance,” said Erik Parker, who has been at the inn for five years. And mostly, it is alumni who are filing in and out of there everyday.

Indeed, the success has been historic, though perhaps expected when compared with how lackluster alumni relations were before now. One of the most effective ways Temple has found to reconnect with alumni previously thought lost has been to develop reunion events specific to organizations, rather than graduating class. Temple hosted a much anticipated gathering for graduates of WRTI, Temple’s since-reformulated, former student radio station last week. Last year’s Homecoming Week hosted a similarly impactful reunion for former members of The Temple News. The crowd was thick and interest high.

People seem to love this school. And that was before the massive growth, success and promotion Temple has seen over the past decade.

If that isn’t enough, the football team, which has seen its share of struggles in recent years, got into the act this year. The Owls beat Northern Illinois on Saturday, a field goal with nine seconds left by redshirt sophomore Jake Brownell sailing through the uprights in front of 21,000 people. And even that was an improvement.

Just 17,000 were at last year’s homecoming upset over Bowling Green, where Coach Al Golden got his first win at Temple.

Our struggling football program, now that’s something to overcome.

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