8 Tips For My Friends Abroad

8 Tips For My Friends Abroad

Survival guide for study abroad population and us at home
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As winter break comes to an end, the reality that a majority of juniors in University will be embarking on a four-month journey that is abroad. Whether you are trekking your way to Australia, exploring the magnificent city of Florence or staying in the domestic but equally as distant Los Angeles, one thing is for certain: you will be missed. Here are some tips on the months of travel upon you and some things we will miss about our girls taking off.

1. Be aware of your surroundings

In any foreign place, self-awareness is key to solemn travels wherever the destination may be. Pickpocketers and creeps are in abundance in any major city of any land. Stay focused on your surroundings, but don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself and let your guard down to new cultures and possibilities.

2. Planning is essential

Always have a rough itinerary of what you want to do and where you want to go. Organization is certainly not overrated and in many instances can save you when you least expect it. Have fun with your planning, it will ensure that whatever you want to see and do will be seen and done.


3. Take advantage of your independence

Most people aren’t granted the opportunity and adventure that is study abroad. Seize this moment and allow yourself to stray from what is common. Normalcy should be suppressed and exploration should be embraced. Elevate your language, culture, and soul by opening your heart to a new place. I promise you won’t regret it.

4. We envy you

Everyone you left home will wish they could trade their soul with you. Seeing all the adventures you take will make us want to burn our eyes out as it is. Don’t worry though, don’t stop the party on account of us.

5. Call your parents

Your parents are excited you have this opportunity but probably also won’t sleep until the moment you return. Give them a courtesy call once in a while, just to assure you are indeed still alive.

6. Take advantage of the legal age

Capitalize on the fact that majority of foreign countries have a drinking age of 18. Instead of sneaking into bars and accepting the risk of incarceration every time you sip a beer here in the states, please sip your beer slowly, then take a sip again for all of us here. (Sorry for my LA girls).

7. Accept the fact that WIFI is limited

Consider this a four-month detox from obsessive social media and iPhone use. Your parents will be thrilled by the lack of data used and will fully take advantage of the excess. The fact is, 4G and LTE are not available at every nook and cranny of London, Madrid or any other country. Suck it up, and use the energy you would have spent staring at your phone to strain your head to take a look around. Who knows, you might even run into something fun.

8. Don’t forget about us

Some of the people who love you most will be back at school waiting for your arrival. Don’t forget we are here and that we miss you. It’s going to be strange to not have our older girls by our side, but we will manage and you will thrive and soon enough we will all be reunited just as the universe intends.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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4 Realizations You Have After A Year Of Spending Two Hours A Day Commuting To And From College

Having a friendship with your car may sound odd, but when you spend almost two hours a day in it, you begin to form a bond.

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Although dorming seems like the best option for freshmen to get used to their new home for the next four years, it isn't the most appealing choice for everybody. When you're a homebody like me, the choice between commuting and dorming has a clear answer. Who would want to give up the comforts of home when they don't have to? However, there are some downsides to being away from campus. Having a 45-minute commute has taught me so much even though it has only been a week.

1. Your time management skills will improve drastically

When you commute, your day must be planned in order to avoid traffic and get home on time. You also have to schedule times to eat, do homework, and socialize. This being said, it is much more difficult to be spontaneous. Friends will make dinner plans or ask to hang out when you're already off campus on your way home. The fear of missing out is a real problem, but planning ahead of time still lets you have a social life.

2. Other people will pity you

Whenever I tell people about my commute, I always get words of pity. Of course, it seems disheartening, but you can't let that get to you. There are always pros and cons to everything, so thinking about the benefits of commuting rather than the downfalls will help you feel better about your drive.

3. Your car will become your best friend

Having a friendship with your car may sound odd, but when you spend almost 2 hours a day in it, you begin to form a bond. My car (named Ulysses) and I have been through a lot on the road. From rogue raccoons to crazy drivers on the highway, your car and you will have seen it all. Your car is your trusty steed that will bring you to school and home safely. As long as you trust your car, your car will trust you back.

4. It's nice to sleep in your own bed

At the end of the day, being home is where I feel the most comfortable. The feeling of your own bed and having the privacy of your own room really have their perks. Also, nothing in the dining halls can beat a homemade meal. Some days, I feel that I should've dormed and that commuting wasn't the best option, but being able to be where I feel my best makes the hassle of commuting worth it.

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