Junior year at DePauw, many students choose to either do a semester off-campus internship or go to a different university in a far away land. Many of my friends have been gone this semester and this school has not been quite the same without them. In the next upcoming month, many of my best friends are about to jet-set across the globe to places like Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Spain and other locations. Saying I am not ready for their departure is the understatement of the century, but here is a list of five things they need to know:
1. Live it up.
You have chosen to leave the school, people and places you love to embark on all these news adventures — so do that. Experience everything. Take every opportunity you are given. Meet every person you encounter and listen to them. Hear their stories and spread your happiness with them. Fall in love (with hopefully another American studying abroad too, so when your time there ends, he's getting on the plane back with ya — you know!) Sky-dive, hike and do a bunch of dangerous things, because your parents won't be able to stop you from that far away.
2. Be in the moment.
Take pictures of the beautiful places and people you see, but be there. Capture the moment and then live through it as well. Put your phone and camera down. Snapchat doesn't need to see it all at the same moment you do. Take it all in, friend — this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
3. Allow yourself to be homesick.
I'm going to need you to keep in contact, because I'll miss you like crazy. But for your own good, don't worry about keeping up with our house group messages or Facebook page. Let those small notifications slip through your list of priorities. Enjoy your time away from it all, campus will be the same as you left it — well, hopefully, but that'll be a problem for your future self.
4. Try things.
Definitely, definitely, definitely indulge in all the different food options you come across. You can count your calories when you get back, but the few months you're there don't be worried about that. Enjoy the new grub.
5. Don't forget about me.
Please, please, please, please make lots of new friends that make you happy, laugh and cry when it's time to come back to the U.S., but you better not replace me... Don't forget to call/text/snap. I'll be here missing you until you return!
I love you all so very much and cannot thank you enough for being such good friends and making this semester as great as it was. Thank you for making me go to places I never did, belt out heartbreak songs while standing on our couch, and for hugging me through every good and bad moment we shared. Thanks for making every day a comedy and always helping the best shine through every situation. I wouldn't have survived this semester (or the past three years) without y'all.
...And if you at the last second decide not to go, that would really, honestly, absolutely, be okay with me ❤️