Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sitting in Class, Thinking About Being Abroad

Hey there friend!

Remember how I said that when you're busy being homesick, the tables will turn and you'll be homesick for abroad? (No? Refresh your memory here)

Well, that time has come. Actually, it's been around for a while and I can't escape it.

Ireland. I. Miss. You. A lot.

And. Greece.

Oh. And. Lovely. London.

Last, but not least- Paris for good measure.

( Shout out- Thanks to my friend Nicole for snapping some of these beautiful memories!!)

No one tells you how weird you'll feel coming back from a semester abroad. I came back from the Emerald Isle feeling like my college campus shrunk.  Granted, it was a small school to start with.

I also felt like everyone was so much more prepared than me- even though it was only syllabus week.

Here I am now, starting week 5 of the semester, and I can say I feel a lot better about being back in the states. Sure, I miss my old class schedule, my favorite pubs and coffee shops  and professors, but I've accepted it now as part of the territory. 

Here's some tips to cope with post abroad sadness:

1. Stay in touch with your old professors, faculty and staff

The connections you made over 4+ months are too valuable to be thrown out the window! In talking to past professors, faculty and staff about readjusting, the new wave of students abroad, things that made you think of them etc.- you'll still feel connected. They'd love to hear from you so send them a quick message!

2. Meet up with people who went abroad and share stories

The first week back, my school had a re-entry meeting for all the students who studied abroad. We got to swap stories and eat pizza. What is better than that? You can tell stories about your time abroad to many people, but only a few people will truly get them, so it's really comforting to touch base with the people who went through the same experiences as you!

3. Dive back into your passions at school (or find new ones!)

Getting back into leadership roles or clubs is so comforting. They're things you loved pre- abroad and things you most likely missed while you were gone. Reignite those passions. Going abroad I realized that I love traveling, so I decided to make it a point to work in my Study Abroad office at school. In doing this, I got to find a new passion and still link back to my adventures abroad. This leads me to my next point...

4. Shout from the rooftops why others should study abroad

Remember the days where you were practically jumping at the chance to study abroad? And wasn't it one of the most magical feelings when you finally could? (Answer: Y E S) You listened to everyone's stories, you read all the information you could and you asked all the questions you could possibly think of to upperclassmen. 

Now it's your chance to be that vessel of knowledge. There's tons of students that are now looking to you for advice. In being a study abroad alum, so to speak, you get to tell everyone why they need to go abroad. It helps spread the word, soothes student's worries and you get to talk about your kick ass experience.

Just like being homesick while abroad, remember that you're not alone when coming back to college. Some of your peers are going through the same thoughts and feeling as you. It's ok to be nostalgic and it's ok to be sad! Just remember, there's always people you can talk to. 

Above all else, don't forget what fire sparked in you when you first chose your college.  (Burlington, you're such a babe. Always beautiful and #1 in my heart) You felt a sense of belonging then- and chances are, that sense of belonging is still in your heart now! It may be trickier to find at the moment, but I can promise you that it won't belong before you rediscover it again.

With love,

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