What People Don't Tell You About Studying Abroad

What People Don't Tell You About Studying Abroad

You gotta be prepared about the things that actually happen.

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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.

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Top 50 Things You'll Hear A Southern Say

Y'all.
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For those of you who may need a little help understanding the slang of a southern, I made a list of the top 50 phrases and sayings, along with their translations.

1. Bless your heart.

My favorite saying. It is an empathetic phrase that is usually uttered when the speaker believes the recipient to be sweet, but misguided or stupid. It can also be used if the speaker believes the recipient needs to grow up and deal with it, when the speaker says it in a sarcastic tone.

2. Barking up the wrong tree.

Means being misguided or mistaken.

3. Aren't you precious?

Mostly this saying is used in a sarcastic tone in response to someone being offensive.

4. Britches.

Pants or underpants.

An example would be, "Your britches are too short, you can't wear those".

5. Coke.

Regardless if it's Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, or another carbonated beverage, it's called Coke here in the South.

6. Fixin' to.

Simply means that you are about to do something.

7. Get the short end of the stick.

This phrase means that you basically got an unfair deal or cheated out of something.

8. Give Me Some Sugar.

Simply means give me a kiss.

9. Hissy Fit.

A hissy fit is a grown-up version of a temper tantrum that is as bad as one that a toddler would throw.

10. Hold Your Horses.

Be patient.

11. Holler.

When you say "holler" you are basically letting the other person know something.

Example: Holler at me when you are ready to get something to eat.

12. If the creek don't rise.

This saying simply means that if nothing bad happens, everything will go as planned.

13. You're as slow as molasses in the wintertime.

This phrase means that you are being EXTRA slow.

14. Muddin'.

Off-road four-wheeler riding with the intentions of getting mud everywhere and possibly losing control.

15. Skat Cat.

A phrase that can be used instead of saying "God bless you" when you sneeze.

16. There's Not A Pot Too Crooked That A Lid Won't Fit.

There is someone for everyone.

17. Pitcher.

We mostly mean a plastic container that holds sweet tea, not the position of a guy on the baseball team.

18. Reckon.

When you say "I reckon", you believe that something is true.

19. Hoot With The Owls, Soar With The Eagles.

This simple phrase means that if you are going to stay up all night, you should be able to get early in the morning.

20. Too Big For Your Britches.

Simply means that you take yourself too seriously.

21. Stompin' Grounds.

Your hometown or where you grew up.

22. Back In The Day.

Back in the day could be a month ago, a year ago, or 20 years ago.

23. You're A Spitting Image Of (Insert Family Member).

Yes, I know I'm a spitting image of my mother. "Spitting image" simply means that you look just like someone.

24. "Darlin, Sugar, Sweetheart"

These words are simply terms of endearment.

25. Buggy.

A buggy is a cart/basket at the grocery store.

Example: Who wants to push the buggy?

26. Quit Crying Or I Will Give You Something To Cry About.

This phrase simply means to quit crying and if you didn't then more than likely you got a spanking,

27. Where You Raised In A Barn?

If you are from the South, you have probably been asked this more than once, especially when you left a door open.

28. Close The Door. You Are Letting All The Good Air Out.

This southern heat is nothing to play with. It simply means to keep the door closed so the air (or heat if its winter) stays inside.

29. You Are Going To Make Me Lose My Religion.

When you say this phrase to someone, it more than likely means that person has done something to irritate you or made you mad. Thank goodness Jesus saves.

Example: You are going to make me lose my religion.

30. You Look Like A Chicken With Your Head Cut Off.

This is said when you are running around like a crazy person. It can be said if you are looking for something that you are searching for or if you are just really busy.

31. Y'all.

The southern way to say "you all".

32. You Can't Carry A Tune In A Bucket.

If you've ever been told this, it means that you can't sing.

33. Have Their Feathers Ruffled.

You normally have your "feathers ruffled" when you are pouting.

34. Two Peas In A Pod.

When you and someone else are "two peas in a pod", it means that either you almost always together or that you two are almost identical in the way you think and do things.

35. Well Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit.

This saying can be used when you are surprised or excited.

36. Don't Let The Door Hit Ya Where The Good Lord Split Ya.

When someone say this they typically mean to get out and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

37. You're As Good As Gold.

When you are "as good as gold", it means that you are well-behaved and obedient.

38. It's Raining Cats And Dogs Out There.

This simply means that the rain is really coming down hard. It's not actually raining cats and dogs, people.

39. I'm Full As A Tick.

This phrase means that you ate too much food.

40. I'm Sweating More Than A Sinner In Church.

When someone says this, it means that they are really hot and sweating A LOT.

41. Pot Calling The Kettle Black.

This phrase is used when one person is guilty of the very same thing of which they accuse another person.

42. There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat.

It means that there is anyways more than one way to fix something.

43. Shut Yo' Mouth.

Means to be quiet or hush up.

44. Whatever Floats Your Boat.

This saying means to do whatever you want to do.

45. Slap Yo' Momma.

This phrase means that something is good.

Example: This BBQ is slap yo' momma good.

46. She's Like A Bull In A China Shop.

When you tell someone this phrase, you are telling them that they are clumsy or careless in the way that they move.

47. Cuttin' A Rug.

Cuttin' a rug is used to describe dancing.

Example: Let's go cut a rug tonight.

48. Clicker.

A clicker is another name for a TV remote.

49. Slow Your Roll.

This also means to be patient.

50. You're A Hot Mess.

When you tell someone that they are a "hot mess", you are simply telling them that they don't have it together.

Cover Image Credit: silhouetteamerica.com

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The 5 Most Scenic Transit Rides You Should Take While In NYC

The largest transit system in North America is full of hidden treasures.

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For most of its 8 million-plus daily riders, the MTA is something they despise. The customer service is horrible, the trains and buses are late and crowded, and the overall riding experience is stressful. But it doesn't have to be this way. New York's expansive transit system contains some very scenic rides that will make you rethink the way you see the MTA. Unlike your daily commute to and from work or school, these rides will help you relax and de-stress.

1. A Train Between Howard Beach-JFK and Broad Channel

This is the longest stretch between two consecutive NYC Subway stations (3.5 miles long and approximately 7 minutes each way) but undoubtedly the most scenic. Heading south from Howard Beach, the train heads on to a drawbridge that cuts right through the middle of the expansive Jamaica Bay. If you listen closely you can even hear the sound of the waves gently rocking the bridge's support columns. Towards the east, you can see JFK Airport and potentially planes taking off and landing. After a mile and a half of breathtaking maritime views, the train rolls through marshland at speeds up to 50 mph-close to the speed limit of the subway system. This ride is always stunning, but especially during the PM rush hour right before sunset. And the best part about all this is that the A train mostly runs R46 type cars, which are very quiet and smooth.

2. Q44 or Q50 LTD via Bronx-Whitestone Bridge

Front window view from a Q50 bus crossing the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge.

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This is probably the most scenic portion of NYC's expansive bus system. The Q44 and Q50 are the only two bus routes connecting the Bronx and Manhattan, and both cross the graceful, Art Deco style Bronx-Whitestone Bridge to connect these two boroughs. Looking west from the bridge, you can see the Midtown Manhattan skyline in the distance and LaGuardia Airport closer by. If you look east, you will see the Throgs Neck Bridge and the wealthy suburbs of North Shore Long Island. And all this takes place over a seemingly endless expanse of azure water since the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge crosses the East River at one of its widest points.

3. M60 SBS via RFK Bridge

The M60 Select Bus Service, which connects Upper Manhattan to Astoria, Queens and LaGuardia Airport, is the only bus route to cross the East River suspension span of the RFK Bridge. This crossing is another one of NYC's most scenic, with views of the East River and Upper Manhattan towards the South, and the historic Hell Gate Bridge (which inspired the world famous Sydney Harbor Bridge) to the north. On top of that, the RFK bridge makes a sweeping turn on Randall's Island between Manhattan and Queens, making this already breathtaking crossing even more breathtaking.

4. Eastbound Q101 via Queensboro Bridge

The Queensboro Bridge has been featured in numerous works of pop culture, from The Great Gatsby to Charlotte's Web, and it's not hard to see why. The exposed cantilever structure of this century-old bridge is truly a marvel of engineering, and the views of Midtown Manhattan and Queens from the upper level are breathtaking. There are three local bus routes that cross the Queensboro Bridge: the Q32, Q60, and Q101. Unfortunately, only the eastbound (Queens-bound) Q101 crosses the bridge on the upper level; the Q32 and Q60, as well as the westbound Q101 all use the far less scenic lower level. But if you ever ride the eastbound Q101, sit back, relax, and enjoy the views, since you are in for a treat

5. BMT Brighton Line

The BMT Brighton Line, used by the B and Q trains in Brooklyn, is a favorite among photographers and transit enthusiasts, and for good reason. Unlike most NYC subway lines, the Brighton Line does not run underground or on elevated tracks, but rather in open cuts, or trenches. This, along with an abundance of vegetation and long stretches of straight track, provides stunning photo opportunities, as well as long and fast express runs and a general rustic feel. Riding this line is strangely relaxing and invigorating, in stark contrast to a Lexington Avenue rush hour train at crush load. The Brighton Line really brightens your day.

Despite its reputation for being a stress creator, NYC's transit system is also an excellent stress reliever. It is full of beauty and splendor. You just have to discover it. And once you do, you will not only appreciate but be grateful for, the greatest city in the world and its transit system ever so much more.

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