10 Things You Miss About Connecticut College While Abroad

10 Things You Miss About Connecticut College While Abroad

Studying away is amazing, but there are some things to feel homesick for.

Everyone tells you that you'll be having too much fun studying abroad to miss home, and that's true for the most part. But there are some endearing parts of Connecticut College that I have found myself missing in the month that I have been in Italy:

1. Everything being ten minutes from your room, at the most.

At Conn, you can roll out of bed fifteen minutes before class and make it there with time to spare. At night, dinner and friends are just a quick walk away. When you leave all that behind and choose to study in a city in Europe, your feet and legs are in for a bit of a shock. Walking between classes can take twenty minutes, and maneuvering through the city is a workout without the help of public transportation. It's satisfying to have your phone tell you you've reached your step goal every hour, but I know my feet will be thankful to take on Conn's sidewalks after months and miles of cobblestones.

2. Sundae Sundays.

As annoying as it can be to wait in line only to find your favorite flavor has run out, having the candy at the toppings bar to sneak back to your room is worth it. Giving yourself gelato Sundays isn't so bad, though.

3. Dryers.

If you thought doing laundry at Conn took up time, you haven't gone abroad! Parts of Europe just don't believe in dryers. Some people are lucky enough to have a dryer built into their washing machine, but where I am, the living room has been filled with drying racks for days as the seven of us living in the apartment wait for our clothes to be at least halfway dry. Once we're back at Conn, getting to fold warm clothes straight out of the dryer is going to feel like a blessing.

4. Hearing the Coast Guard's cannons go off.

I hadn't even realized this was a sound I was so used to until the cannon on Gianicolo Hill in Rome went off on our first days here, and I was the only one not to jump. It goes off every day at noon, and every time I hear it I think of the boom that echoes across Route 32 from our neighbors at the Coast Guard.

5. The Harris staff.

They're so friendly; it's impossible not to miss them. The staff here in Rome is great, but nobody could replace the people working in Harris!

6. Camel-Everything.

Camel cookies, camel waffles, camel-shaped decor everywhere you look in Cro... At Conn, our odd mascot is everywhere. Not only is it hard to find a single camel in European cities like Rome, but its hard to find good cookies and waffles, too!

7. Self-Scheduled Exams.

We haven't even had exams yet, but I know I'm going to miss being able to choose when and where I take my finals. The idea of the professor sitting in the room watching you struggle isn't a fun one, either. Life without the honor code making you feel comfortable leaving your backpack at the library overnight and allowing you to procrastinate until the last possible day of self-scheduled finals is going to be rough.

8. The Arbo.

Most people study away in cities, which aren't exactly the place to find a literal forest in your backyard, like we do at Conn. Taking walks around the water, lying in the grass during Arbofest, and exploring the rocks and nature paths are all serene moments you don't get very often living in a city unless you really go looking for them.

9. Floralia.

When it came to deciding between fall and spring for studying away, the fact that I would be missing Floralia at the end of the year was one of the first things I thought of. It'll be hard finding such a perfect way to end the semester outside Conn. I'll have to live vicariously through stories and pictures on Facebook.

10. Seeing your friends every day.

Whether you planned on hanging out or you just spotted them while walking to class, it's hard to go very long without seeing the same people at Conn. While studying away, you have to work around distance and time differences, deal with missing texts for hours, and arrange FaceTime and phone calls at odd hours. Most of your calls involve telling them to come visit you, though, so hopefully you'll see them soon enough.

Cover Image Credit: LinkedIn

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People need cars in order to get around. However, too few realize how incredibly dangerous driving can be. Powering over two tons of metal at high speeds requires sheer concentration. If drivers don’t focus, the consequences can be deadly. Here are the top causes of fatal car crashes.

Distracted Driving

Think you’re good to just check a text for a split second? Think again. Looking away from the road is an absolute no-no. You need to be anticipating what’s ahead. You also need to be aware of what’s right by you. A car could be suddenly swerving into your lane and you might not react in time. You need to be using your vision to the best of your abilities. Check as far ahead as possible and be looking in your rear and side mirrors. To be a great driver, you need to be as alert as possible. Otherwise, you’ll end up in a car accident with a personal injury case (or worse) on your hands.

Intoxicated Driving

When you think of intoxicated driving, you might think of drunk driving. While alcohol definitely plays a large role in driving deaths, it’s not the only one. Substances like marijuana or cocaine can also affect driving abilities. You need to drive with the utmost sobriety. If unsure about driving at all, don’t do it. Driving while intoxicated is incredibly selfish and could cost lives. Have a designated driver or call a cab.

Speeding

Speed limits exist for a reason. You need all drivers on a road to be on the same page. Otherwise, collisions become a real possibility. There’s also not driving fast enough. If you’re driving too slowly, especially on the interstate, you could cause an accident. Pay close attention to the speed limit whenever you’re driving. If others are speeding or driving way below the limit, try to avoid them. You should also report them to the police.

Fatigue

You need to have all your mental bearings when driving. If you feel drowsy, you should not drive. Driving, especially on the interstate, can lull us into a sort of hypnosis. Falling asleep at the wheel is unacceptable. Don’t try to pull an all-nighter to make a point. Instead, you should find a motel to sleep at or let a non-sleepy friend drive.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. If you are going to be trusted with a license, you have to understand responsibility. By being aware of the dangers, you can make smarter driving decisions.

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Hi My Name Is Alexis And I'm Obsessed With Disney

Eat. Sleep. Disney. Repeat.

Everyone has his or her obsessions or habits that make them who they are. If you ask anyone that knows me, my obsession would be Disney. I eat, breathe, and sleep Disney. It is always on my mind. From movies to the parks to the characters it’s my entire life.

1. Disney is my only vocabulary

I find myself talking more about Disney that I do anything else. I annoy my family regularly by rambling on about Disney and everything it has to offer. The happiness I get from talking about Disney is… magical.


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I’ve seen each Disney movie too many times to count. I know many movies word for word and find myself singing or talking along with the characters. I also listen to the soundtracks from the movies as I drive to work or to school.

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I find myself going to Disney at least once or twice a year, every year. Once I leave the parks, I feel like I need to go right back. I want to go to every Disney theme park ever made. I have only been to the parks in Orlando, but one day I would like to travel the world and see them all.

5. Career goals = Disney

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to be a princess, until sadly I realized it was not a realistic career option.I used to want to become a teacher and would dream of having a Disney themed classroom and teach off of Disney lesson plans, But at the bottom of my heart, I knew that wouldn’t be what I really wanted.The role of a teacher just didn't seem like the right fit for me.

I know I want to work for Disney, so I switched my major to something that would draw a better path for me to get there. I am now a communication major with a minor in marketing. One day I hope to reach my goal of working for Disney and being in their department of communications and help share the magic Disney has to offer. The magic of Disney never gets old and It is something everyone should experience at least once!


Cover Image Credit: Alexis Wheeler

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