To The Girl Who Is Afraid To Study Abroad

To The Girl Who Is Afraid To Study Abroad

A new country, alone, is scary. But what good ever came from playing it safe?

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To the girl afraid to study abroad...

Don't be. Studying abroad is one of the most challenging, unique, and rewarding experiences of my college experience.

Was I afraid to embark on a six-month solo journey across the ocean? Yes. But I knew that in the long run that if I didn't do it, I would regret it. Filling out applications, buying expensive plane tickets, stressing over getting my Visa in time--the entire process was just short of a nightmare.

Yet, studying abroad gave me things I never would've gotten had I not done so.

Better Spanish skills.

Ability to problem solve.

Public transit system understanding in multiple cities.

Appreciation for luxuries I never considered luxuries.

Doing and seeing things I'd only ever heard about in a classroom.

Studying abroad is scary, at first. You'll get homesick and you'll miss American food. You'll miss the parts of your daily routine at home and you'll wish you had more money. You'll have to readjust to a new form of college life and find friends in an entirely new place.

So many people reach the end of their study abroad programs and can't wait to go home, but I was different. I loved so many things about my life in Spain but I had things back home that I missed as well. I found that readjusting to my home culture was harder than adjusting to Spanish culture. Now that I'm back home, studying at my American university and speaking only English on a regular basis, I miss Spain, I miss my European friends and my American friends from other states, I miss Spanish grocery store prices, I miss the Madrid Metro, I miss tinto de verano, I miss traveling to what felt like a whole new world for less than $100 (different countries feel like different worlds sometimes).

And I feel like that's something irreplaceable. Having another thing, another life, another culture, another time zone, another place to miss... especially when that thing is another home.

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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.
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College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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7 Things Never To Do While Visiting London

Abandon all hope, ye who use public transport during rush hour.

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As I've said before, London is an interesting place to be, however, there are a handful of things that should be avoided. Of course, mistakes will be made and lessons will be learned, but maybe if you read this, you'll know better faster.

1. Do not stand on the left.

Gifer

... of the escalator. Some people prefer to walk down to their train, and if you're in the way, it's as if you were sent from hell itself, especially during rush hour

2. Do not take the Central Line.

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Unless you're going to the Museum of London or St. Paul's. Or you're into weird smells and clinging to the pole because there is no such thing as a smooth ride. To each their own.

3. Do not attempt to get anything to eat in Leicester Square after 4:30.

Tenor

Leicester (pronounced like "Lester") Square is one of the best places to grab some grub in Central London because of the sheer amount of choices. Just plan to eat early because everyone else knows that very thing and you'll end up waiting an eternity for a table, then food.

4. Do not rely completely on an app.

Tenor

It's totally fine if you have no clue where you going or how public transport works, but once you get the hang of it, you're allowed to trust your own judgment. Maybe you don't have to get off the train then switch twice before getting there instead of riding a few stops more and switching once.

5. Do not attempt to take the Tube during Rush Hour when you have other options.

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Just take the bus if you have to to the national railways. The SWR trains are slow, but at least you're not packed in like sardines and there are usually open seats.

6. Do not forget to check for student discounts and bring your ID.

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Remember this when you go to the palaces, it could save you six pounds and make a real difference if you're going with others.

7. Do not let anything ruin your day.

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There will be a lot of things that will try to ruin your day... Like people who intentionally break some rules above, lines (Sorry, queues), poor navigation skills, etc. Still, you're in London. Savor your visit, and don't let any mistakes or people without common decency ruin your visit.

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