Friday, January 24, 2014

Symptoms of study abroad withdrawal

So, I left to study abroad in London, England a year ago and it is so incredibly difficult to explain how much my life has changed, as well as how much I have changed as a person. I will have to say that traveling to London and making my way around the city and to other places in Europe has made me more confident, more independent and definitely more adventurous.
Right now, I crave new places, and to be honest, being at my university is really frustrating sometimes because I am out in the middle of nowhere and I can't just pop out of my flat and hit the city streets to feel fulfilled. 
If you have ever studied abroad, here are some things that I'm sure that you can relate to:
  •  Your walls/room/dorm/apartment/house/flat is littered with trinkets, photos, and souvenirs from your adventures abroad and you are just dying for an unsuspecting someone to ask you about your trip, no matter how long ago it was. Sometimes, you even push them to make a comment, just so you can go on and on about how great your experience was.
  • Seeing photos on social media of other friends or acquaintances studying abroad in your city makes you just plain MAD, MAD I TELL YOU! Okay, well, it makes me mad, and then a little sad and nostalgic, and then jealous, and then truly happy for them because I know that they are going to discover all the wonder and beauty that makes that city so special. 
  • You find that you can only talk and reminisce about your life abroad to the people who are in the same boat as you because everyone else just finds it annoying.... yep. 
  • You go to see some movies solely because you know they take place/were filmed in your city and you're just dying to see some of the places you love.
  • Coming back to real college classes is hard and frustrating... because you actually have to do a ton of work and you no longer have commute time on public transportation to finish up last night's reading for today's class. 
  • Driving everywhere is just plain tedious. 
  • In your free time, you scroll foreign websites full of job opportunities and cheap rental properties in the city of you dreams, and you really really consider how much money you can save up in the next month or two to buy a one-way plane ticket and have some left over for one or two meals a day until you find a job. 
  • You miss the bread. 
  • And the wine. 
  • You have lost some weight since coming back home, but you realize that you would rather be living fat and happy abroad. 
  • You check in and stay in touch with the people you met while studying abroad over Facebook by liking all their posts and going through their old albums..... guilty.
  • You read over the journal you kept while overseas and sometimes you cry and eat a lot of chocolate (which you know will never taste as sweet as the chocolate that you had while abroad)
  • For the people who studied in the UK: You get just as excited over new BBC shows and series-es as the natives do and nobody back home understands what you are talking about EVER.
  • Sometimes you get lost in daydreams of simply walking down city streets.
Those are just a few that I've experienced, and I've diagnosed myself with acute wanderlust and nostalgia. There is no cure but more travel. 
Feel free to comment more symptoms that you have been burdened with below!
Well, I just want to urge people who have not had the experience of studying abroad to do so and to urge those who have, and who loved it, to encourage their friends and family members to do so.
It takes some courage and a leap of faith (also a good amount of dinero $$$) but I think that experiences like this are always beneficial because of how much can be learned and how much good can come from them. 

Stay sane, 


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