Returning from JYA by William Smith

Coming home was certainly weird, and I’ll never forget my flight from Brazil to New York for my final round investment banking interviews.  Some of the other interviewees had taken a train down from New Haven, while I had flown approximately 5000 miles from Brazil.  It was certainly a strange feeling seeing the architectural wonders of New York City when I had become used to the endless strange and eclectic buildings of São Paulo.

Upon moving back to Tulane, I moved into an apartment close to some of the older Altman Scholars, and it felt good to be living off-campus rather than in a dorm.  While in Brazil, I had learned to cook my own food (thanks to my flatmates for teaching me everything!) and to live on my own for the first time outside of college.  There’s something about moving into an apartment that makes the idea of living in a dorm again with strict hours and floor meetings that sounds unbearable- trust me, I’m a former Resident Advisor J. So luckily, I was able to keep a part of my lifestyle that I had become accustomed to in Brazil (see below for a picture of my humble abode).

All was well until I came back to campus for my first day of classes.  I was so used to walking my traditional route to FGV in São Paulo.  Instead, I was biking to school for the first time in ages, and it was strange and awkward.  When I finally got to campus, there were students everywhere, and I didn’t recognize a soul! I felt so old, and foreign, and it felt like I was studying abroad in my own home! When I walked into the LBC for the first time at lunchtime, the lines were chaotic, and I was overwhelmed by the ludicrous number of people in the food court.  Even after having studied in São Paulo, I was shocked at the number of students running around.  My first class was fixed income in the business school, which was refreshing, yet it was almost surreal being back on campus.

After my first day of class, I immediately called my European friends that I had met in Brazil.  They had become my new closest friends, and I confided in them about how overwhelming my classes were and what it was like to come home. They too had experienced similar feelings when coming home, and we all agreed that we missed our time at FGV.  There’s something that changes when you come back. You feel older and more mature.  Everything on campus looked newer and nicer than before, especially when compared with my apartment in Brazil, yet I still wanted to be back in Brazil during my first week of school.  Much like my arrival in Brazil, there was an adjustment period for me when I came back to Tulane.  Slowly, I’ve gotten used to the Tulane campus and normal routine, yet I definitely feel different after having lived in Brazil for five months and having secured an internship.  I feel ready to graduate.

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