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The NewSLU

AS IT HAPPENED: Sleeping in the Dublin Airport

Our reporter had an early morning flight. So she did what any study abroad student might do. Was it fun? Next question.
Anna Godlewski
A goodbye post from the author, who covered her airport-sleep challenge live on X.

This past weekend, I had the (regrettable) opportunity to document myself spending the night in the Dublin airport. Sleeping in European airports is something that is distinctly, chaotically study abroad. It costs nothing and is conducive to early morning budget flight times. At the same time, it is physically and mentally challenging. It is near impossible to get a good night’s rest in an airport. This makes it something that is typically only viable for young, relatively healthy individuals such as study abroad students.

To call my experience “sleeping” would be generous: within the actual airport itself I only slept for maybe an hour or so. While unfortunate for me, it gave me the opportunity to document all of the chilly, ridiculous events that unfolded.

Once I made it through security (around 4:00 AM), true delusion started to set in. I was pacing the airport in order to stay warm, and found myself laughing out loud at the conversation I was eavesdropping on between two custodial workers. Despite my circumstances, I felt relatively fine mentally. I think I had resigned to accepting my conditions.

After sleeping like an absolute baby in the luxurious comfort of my Aer Lingus aisle seat, I started to lose steam. The trek from the airport back home was hard to document and even harder to work through. This semester, I have learned that when you are studying abroad the highs are high and the lows were real low. That metro ride home was one of the lowest lows yet.

Yet, I lived to tell the tale. And I survived a full day of classes (no skipping! I outdid myself) with the aid of two quad shot dining hall coffees. Was it enjoyable? No. Is it a good story for friends back home? Absolutely. Will I do it again? Unfortunately, the odds are high.

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