hello my wonderful wonderful friends
It has of course been so long since I last posted that WordPress has (once again) updated their website. That’s okay. I’m back in the States after one of the greatest semesters ever—I’ve been back forever, actually, and I’m mostly here because Megan has been nagging. I feel as though I owe you guys a big huge post about studying abroad and what I’ve learned but it’s so hard to articulate. People ask how it was and I have no idea what to say, really. “It was great!” But it was so much more than that, and here I am going back to school on Saturday and I haven’t even started to try to explain the experience to people. I end up doing this obnoxious thing where I just start stories with, “One time in Austria/Paris/Italy…” like some casual humblebrag, which is definitely not the impression I want to give off.
While I was abroad, I really liked the idea of sending postcards—unfortunately I only sent three, because the Italian mail system was both incredibly slow and expensive. But a lot of my friends sent postcards; I was even sent one by a friend, whose postcard philosophy I admired. She filled the entire back of the thing in tiny print and wrote about whatever was in her head, telling little stories or giving commentary. I was thinking about it today because I was packing up my postcards to pin up at school; while I didn’t send a lot, I bought a lot and kept them to remind myself of my experience. I’ve thought a lot about my experience abroad, but something I’m struggling with is combining the two realities. When I first came home, it seemed like I had to choose either home or abroad as true. If one was real, the other must have been a dream—they were that different. I’m failing to find the balance: I either live totally in the past or reminisce shallowly while forgetting to apply everything I learned to the present. Because of this, I’ve decided to start a series called Postcards for the Wall. It’s a combination of home and abroad, of my current life and the unique and foreign perspectives of last semester. I’ll put together a ‘postcard’ for you, with a few pictures from a place I went, reflect on the experience—tell some stories, make some commentary. Then I’ll talk about my current life and what it has to do with it or how it applies, metaphorically pinning the postcard I’ve written to the wall. I want my travels to be relevant to the every day. I want the D’Orsay in my dorm, and the Uffizi at uni. (Wow, I’m clever.) Hopefully through this I’ll find the balance I’m hoping for and in the process get to tell you all about my incredible time in Europe.
In the meantime, a quick update on my life:
I am very happy—like I’d hoped, I did learn a lot of things about confidence last semester. While I’m feeling some anxiety at the moment, I think it’s mostly a result of being at home since before Thanksgiving and missing being on my own and being unable to fully adjust to working with obligations to other people and their schedules.
I’m applying to 17 billion research internships for next summer hoping to get a head start on my academic career. It’s really draining but it will hopefully come to some good, so please keep your fingers crossed and pray for a positive outcome.
I’ve started a studyblr (don’t laugh) to keep myself motivated next semester. If you have a tumblr or are into that sort of thing, please follow me! I’d love to interact with you there. (Don’t know what a studyblr is? Read this—though I disagree with the first point because there are definitely guys in the community.)
Talk to you soon! I can’t wait to tell you all more about my adventures.