As I sit here at a cafe in the student union, which has become my go-to hangout spot before/in between classes/after classes, I felt inspired to write this blogpost. I haven’t written a non-travel recap post in a while, so I wanted today’s to be more of a personal one.
This week officially makes my halfway point of being abroad. I’ve been here for around 2 months, and will only be here for a little over 2 months more. It’s crazy that I’m already halfway done. Truthfully, as I think back to my experience so far, I don’t feel that I have accomplished the things that I wanted to accomplish when I first got here. Don’t get me wrong, I have really enjoyed my time here thus far, and will tell that to anyone who asks me how my abroad experience is going, but I also feel that there were definitely some aspects of abroad that I did not expect, and have sort of gotten in the way of me accomplishing certain goals I had for abroad, if that makes any sense.
One of my goals coming abroad was to obviously, to travel. Who doesn’t have that goal when studying abroad? Traveling is one of my favorite things in the world, and I have been very fortunate to have done a lot of it with my family in the past, so I didn’t think that it would be a problem for me here. I’ve done a bit of traveling so far, but definitely not as much as I have wanted to. Part of the reason is I was unlucky in my classes and in addition to having classes everyday, I have class from 5-6PM on Thursday and Fridays, and 3 classes for Mondays, which makes it obviously really hard to travel on the weekends. Sure, I could miss my classes like many abroad students do, but I’m someone who feels reallyyy bad skipping classes, so I don’t if I don’t have to.
The other part of it is, anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a planner. I own multiple planners, every highlighter and post-it color imaginable, and spend many hours of my free time watching Youtube videos on how people decorate their planners. So doing things on a whim or impromptuly is just not usually how I go about things. It’s really hard for me to just book a weekend trip spontaneously because I like to do tons of research before I jump into anything whether that be purchasing a new makeup product, to finding the perfect weekend trip destination. And normally, I feel that I don’t have the time that I need from week to week to do the amount of research that I would like on a place I want to visit. Other times, because I know I need to do a ton of research before jumping into things, it gets me overwhelmed so I just put off doing it and then never book that ticket to that place that I’ve been wanting to visit.
Another aspect of abroad that I was NOT expecting is the amount of free/alone time you have here. I mentioned this a bit in my U.K. vs. U.S. blogpost, but I’ve noticed that U.K. students do their own thing here/are to themselves a lot of the time. A lot of students just go to class and go back to their flats. So this lends itself to a lot of free time and alone time. Now I’m someone who loves being with others but also really cherishes alone time, but I’m not used to having so much alone time. Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out what to do with that time.
Although these are are aspects of abroad that I didn’t expect, I also do feel that I’ve grown while being here, as cheesy as that sounds. I’ve learned to be independent and comfortable being alone. I love going on weekly excursions and adventures around the city, just wandering on my own. I’ve learned it’s okay to not always have things planned down to a T and to just go with the flow at times. Sure, planning things always gives me the comfort of knowing that things won’t go wrong and such, but sometimes, there are just things you can’t control and life always has a way of working itself out. Just a couple of days ago, I randomly booked a weekend trip to Paris for later this month. At an open mic that I attended, I hadn’t planned on singing what so ever because I can’t play an instrument and sing at the same time, and I met someone there who plays guitar but doesn’t sing, so we ended up just impromptuly singing together! I helped a friend to dye his hair this past weekend and when it didn’t work, I decided to dye my own (also didn’t end up working, turns out, my hair is too dark). Even though I still prefer to plan things out, I’ve learned that even if I don’t, things will turn out okay. So although I still wouldn’t consider myself as someone who just goes out and does things on a whim, I’m taking baby steps to be more okay with doing that.
Soo that’s going to be it for my personal post today. Hope it wasn’t too much of a boring read! xx