Tuesday, May 20, 2014

8 Things I've Learned From Studying Abroad

The way people talk about studying abroad, I sort of assumed my entire life would change. And, well, it has, but I'm not a different person, and I'm not suddenly perfect, and I'm really not all that glamorous and worldly. I have, however, changed my outlook on a few things. 

I was going to come up with 10 things that I've learned, but I could only think of 8. I've been here for a year, and I can only thing of 8 things that I've learned. #Success

1. Try. Seems kind of obvious, probably. But I find that I need to constantly remember to try. Try to speak french, try to do well in school, try to make fun plans for the weekend. Just try. 

2. Be open to making friends. I'm fairly closed off when it comes to making friends, but after living alone in a big and overwhelming city, I'm significantly more open. You really don't know people until you know them. Once you do, you can decide if they're worth keeping around. 

3. Only spend time with people you like. I find myself spending time with people that I think are cool but that actually aren't that fun or nice. I also find myself dating people because they're attractive or interesting, and not because I actually like them. What the hell have I been thinking? 

4. Explore. After living in Paris, my friends and I have all realized the importance of exploring our own cities, visiting local museums and traveling more throughout the states. 

5. Study. I'm going to be frank with you here: Europeans know way more than Americans do. It's not because they're inherently smarter, it's because their education system is more effective. I'd really like to be as knowledgeable as the average 15 year old french student. 

6. Learn stuff about money. It's about time I figure out my finances. Well, lack thereof. (I can hear my brother's I told you so from countries away). 

7. Plan Ahead. Not really my strength, but I will try to make it so.

8. Call your family. It's really easy to forget, but everyone (including yourself) is so happy when you remember. 

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