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Senior prepares for move to Ireland

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Senior Sarah Middlebrooks and her family will relocate to Ireland this summer.

Senior Sarah Middlebrooks and her family will relocate to Ireland this summer.

Andrea Steward

Andrea Steward

Senior Sarah Middlebrooks and her family will relocate to Ireland this summer.

Change is inevitable for many high school seniors, but for Sarah Middlebrooks, her life is about to be turned completely upside down. Her family is moving to Ireland, which is 4,465 miles on the other side of the world.

Middlebrooks’ father was recently offered an engineering job at Belfast’s Harland & Wolff Shipyard, the same place that the Titanic was built in 1911. The move will be permanent for him, as well as Middlebrooks’ stepmother and her two brothers, but Middlebrooks will return to the United States after this summer to attend Lamar University in Beaumont. She was accepted to Queens University, but despite the fact that college for international students is basically free, decided not to enroll there after all.

“With college in Ireland, they don’t see it as you have to go to be successful,” she said. “They see going to college is just to further your experiences.”

Even though getting the experience to live in a different country is exciting for Middlebrooks, she also said she cannot help but feel a bit nervous.

“I’ve never flown before and I have never been (to Ireland) before so I’m kind of uncomfortable with it,” she said. “I’m nervous about not being able to know my way around town.”

Even though the change will be nerve-wracking for Middlebrooks, she said she is excited about getting to experience new sights and places. She is especially anxious to kiss the Blarney Stone, which is a tradition that has been around for several centuries and is said to give a person the gift of eloquence and persuasiveness. She is also looking forward to visiting all of the castles in the area. Middlebrooks said she is intrigued by all that Ireland has to offer, including the close proximity to everything.

“I think it’s cool that in five hours you can visit five different counties because Ireland is so close to everything,” she said. “They don’t really drive vehicles there, so we aren’t taking our cars. They use trains, metros and bikes.”

According to Middlebrooks, she will miss her friends the most when she leaves for Ireland this summer – especially her best friend, senior Abigail Cedillo.

“It’s going to be my first summer after graduation and I am going to miss the fact that I can’t spend that time with my friends,” she said. “FaceTime is going to be my main connection. I am not adding international calling so the Internet does great wonders.”

FaceTime is going to be my main connection.”

— Sarah Middlebrooks

Middlebrooks and Cedillo have attended the same school for four years, but first formed a strong friendship during their sophomore year.

“It’s definitely going to be hard not having her around all the time, but I know that it’s a great opportunity for her,” Cedillo said. “The hardest thing to overcome will probably be to communicate with her because of the time difference. But we’ll make it work somehow. When you’re as close as we are, it won’t be a problem.”

Even though Cedillo is sad to see her friend leave, she said it will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be surrounded by that much history.

“I’m happy that her family received this opportunity to travel and live there,” Cedillo said. “I know she’ll love it.”

Middlebrooks will depart from Houston on June 6 to start her summer in Ireland. She has already seen the house her family will live in and that has helped build her excitement.

“It’s right by a river, so it’s really cool,” she said. “We are living in a city called Orangefield, so that’s funny.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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