I thought that when I got home from studying abroad, everything was going to feel different. That my friends and family would look a bit older. That there would be many events I missed out on or didn’t know about. That I would accidentally slip some French into my English. I know I was only gone for four months, however, I also know just how much happens in a semester and how different I feel after each one. And I know that after each semester, it’s not just me that has changed, but everyone and everything else too.
To my surprise, upon arriving home, these changes were not as dramatic as I thought they would be. Of course, there are a few details I’ve missed and time surely has passed at home as it did while I was away, but nothing seems that…different. This is a relief to me, honestly. The only things that caught me off guard upon returning to the Midwest from Paris was how friendly people were, and that tax is added to sales. (What do you mean it’s not exactly $5.99?!)
The fear of missing out is real. It happens to all of us, whether we’re on campus or off. But I am grateful to say that for me, I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything. I only feel like I’ve grown and gained from my experience away, and now I get the chance to share this growth with the people closest to me.
I’m grateful to be home for the holidays and swap stories about the time that has passed, fill in the gaps of what might have been missed, and most importantly, pick right back up where we left off.