According to everyone who doesn't live in New York, pretty much every where from Westchester to Potsdam and Rochester to Albany is considered "Upstate New York." So congratulations! If you don't live in New York City, you are a proud Upstate New Yorker! That being said, New York is a huge state full of many different types of people, so we aren't all going to understand the same lifestyle, especially if you live on farm in the middle of the state and the next person lives in the suburbs. However, wherever we are located, we love our state and couldn't be more proud to New York our wonderful, beautiful, home, and know many of these things to be true.
Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."
I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.
I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.
I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.
..and I want you addicted.
I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.
I want to stand out.
I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.
I want you to be hanging on every word I say.
I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.
I want to be the life of the party.
I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.
I want to give.
I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.
When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.
I want my passion to ooze out of me.
I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.
I want to always be thinking of others.
...and I want people to know what my passions are.
I want to be a woman who draws people in.
Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.
Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.
From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.
Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.
I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.
..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.
I want to take all of life in.
I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.
Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.
I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.
And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Studying abroad is a dream for a lot of college students. From spending endless days at the beach to visiting somewhere new every week, studying in another country has become romanticized to the point where some people end up experiencing a major shock when they arrive at the country of study of their choice. After a month of living abroad in Paris, here are some tips and realistic reflections on how it has been.
What people post on Instagram is a quaint little Parisian studio looking like it came straight out of a movie, with cobblestone roads and Beauty and the Beast style windows. What they don't see are the problems that come with a hundred-year-old studio - from water leaks to thin walls to inefficient energy consumption, studios that allow for such aesthetic pictures comes at a great price.
Honestly, the novelty of being in a new city and a new place will probably outweigh these problems, but it's important to be prepared when these things do happen. But if you don't speak the language of the country, it can be very hard to solve problems like these that arise. Not only are there language barriers, but stores and services in each country are also open to different times. In Paris, if there's a problem with a water leak on a Saturday night, don't expect to be able to find a plumber until at least mid-day Monday.
Before arriving in a new country, you may also have pre-existing preconceptions about the area. You may have prepared yourself in advance, determining that the generally rude people an aversion to English speakers would never bother you. But when you're fully immersed in the city, exposed to the judgments and non-stop streams of French, your brain could quickly burn out. Make sure to give yourself some alone time every few days when you're in a foreign country because your brain will need that time to recharge and reflect. If you don't, it is very easy to burn out.
It takes time to get used to a new city, and it takes time to start to understand a new place. You may feel frustrated in the first few weeks or even months, but when you finally settle into the pace of the city, it will truly become a rewarding experience. Sometimes you just want to fly home and go back to late night taco runs, boba shops, and big brunches, but you will learn to appreciate the country you're studying in for what it offers. There's no need to fly to a new extravagant location every weekend to enjoy the study abroad experience. That daily walk to the bakery across the street will become one of the most memorable parts of your experience, and you'll never forget the times when you almost got lost in the city with your new friends.
Study abroad if you can - you'll grow so much as a person and expose yourself to just how diverse this world is.