The Sh*tty Part of Studying Abroad

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‘What?! Megan, you’re crazy. There are no sh*tty parts to studying abroad!! It’s all amazing! Best month of your life?!’

Hear me out because there is one, giant, sh*tty part of studying abroad. No, it’s not the sh*tty food, no, it’s not the fact that I constantly had blisters and other open wounds on my feet due to all of the walking, no, it’s not because I couldn’t understand my host family worth a darn because of their crazy dialect, and no, it’s not even because of the fact that my roommate and I were the only ones out of our whole group without wifi at our house. None of these things were sh*tty because they were all a part of the experience, and each situation posed an opportunity to learn something new. I look back on each experience with laughter and realize just how much I got out of them, especially the no wifi deal….

But… there is still one seriously sh*tty thing about studying abroad. Are you ready?

Coming home.

That’s the only truly, sh*tty part. Sure, initially it is such a wonderful feeling to step foot back on to American soil. I almost cried when I saw my mom again after an entire month away. Don’t even get me started about my reaction when I saw my dogs. I felt like I was finally back to familiarity (because let’s be honest, nothing in a foreign country is familiar), but suddenly, even on the very first night I was back in America, I felt weird. I felt like something was missing, but I was too tired to care and crashed into my comfy bed again and embraced being back home.

However, here I am two months later, pissed. Pissed that no one told me that post-studying abroad sucks. It hurts. It’s so hard to put in to words, but it honestly feels like a part of my physical being is stuck in Spain and I’ll never get it back. Even the littlest things can set off a flood of memories and sometimes a flood of tears. It’s like the worst break-up I’ve ever been through. I find myself daydreaming of a day that we can be back together again. It scares me because that month in Spain really was perhaps the best month of my life thus far, and it’s gone. I know I got out of it as much as possible, but it all came to an end much too quickly.

So if you’re thinking about studying abroad, I will most likely say, “OMG DO IT! IT WILL BE THE BEST MONTH OF YOUR LIFE!! YOU WILL LOVE EVERY MINUTE!!!” and you will, but don’t forget what I’m saying now. Be prepared for it to really, really suck when you get home. I don’t think the post-study abroad blues will pass until I can get out into the world again.

Time to save the mula…

Megan LouAnn

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