#FOMO

FOMO = The fear of missing out

It’s come and gone over the last few months and last night it hit me all over again. My sorority had a formal dance this past weekend and the pictures were everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat… every social media outlet that I use was a reminder that I missed out on a great time.

I was worried about this happening before I left, so I had a conversation about it with one of my friends who had previously studied abroad. She told me:

Time doesn’t stop when you’re abroad. Things happen; people change, relationships change, and unfortunately you miss that.

This couldn’t be more true. With the large role that social media plays in our every day lives, I think it is nearly impossible to be not be plagued by FOMO at some point during a semester abroad. It’s easier than ever to keep up on every single event that happens. I enjoy seeing what my friends are up to on campus but it’s hard to get rid of the nagging sense that so much is happening and I’m missing all of it. Most times its not even big things. A picture of a coffee date or a lyric posted from Chapel are instant FOMO triggers for me.

Right about now you’re probably thinking, “she’s in France! why on earth does she want to come back to Holland?!” The answer is simple: Hope is home. So many people that I love and hold dear are half a world away. The semester is almost finished (where did it go?) and as much I would LOVE to leave my life in the US and eat bread in France forever, I am ready for my FOMO days to be a thing of the past.

But today it’s here and it’s real. However, I think a pain au chocolat and stroll by the Loire River are just what I need to get me back in the moment.

-Rachael

Just Arrived in France!!

Hi everyone!! This is my first of many blog posts from Nantes, France this semester! The last two days have been INSANE! I’m so happy to finally be here!

If you follow my Twitter account, then on Tuesday you saw the drama that was my flight schedule. Early that day, my first flight from Des Moines to Chicago was canceled due to the cold weather. The airline wanted to put me on their next available flight to Chicago, which was on Thursday. At that point, I was faced with the decision to arrive late to my program and miss part of my off-site orientation, or drive to Chicago. My parents decided to drive me to Chicago and I notified the airline. However, later that day, the airline decided to book me on a flight on another flight for Wednesday. I spent Monday night trying to figure out if I was actually going to Nantes the next day or not! Eventually, I got my original itinerary back, minus the flight from Des Moines to Chicago.

On Tuesday, my parents and I braved the cold as we drove me 6 hours to Chicago. Ten minutes into the flight, the captain came on the loud speaker and asked if there was a voluntary doctor on board. Uh oh. Everyone started to panic a little bit because of course, that’s never a good sign! About an hour after that request, the pilot came on the loud speaker again; this time to announce that we would be making an emergency stop at the JFK airport in New York because a passenger on board was very sick. He assured us that after the medical personnel came on board to get the passenger it wouldn’t be long before we left. The stop ended up taking 3 hours. Yes, 3 hours. I notified my parents, who freaked out because they thought they would not be hearing from me until I got to France! Because of the delay, I arrived 3 hours late to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. I quickly got through customs and practically ran to the train station in the airport where I had to take a train from Paris to Nantes. Almost immediately, I met some other students on my program. It was such a relief to be with other Americans!

After the 3-hour train ride, I went to the program center with the several other students who were on my train. I made some friends and was then taken by my host mother to my home for the semester, where I am right now!

This weekend, I will be doing an off-site orientation in Tours! I will update again after that! So much is happening so soon! It’s a crazy, beautiful trip already 🙂

A bientot!

Rachael

I’m Going to France!!!

Hi everyone!

Sorry I have been MIA the last couple of weeks. My life has been crazy with classes, extracurriculars, and getting ready to go abroad.

That’s right! Next semester I will be in Nantes, France!!!

Nantes
Nantes

Nantes is about two and a half hours away from Paris by train, and is the 6th largest city in France with almost 900,000 residents. As much as I would have loved to go to Paris, I chose to go to Nantes because the population of native English speakers is very small. This means that I will be forced to use French all of the time; if not in the city, then at home with my host family!

While there, I will be taking classes (en français, bien sur!) at the IES program center in the middle of the city. I applied for an internship to teach English au lycee to high school-aged students, so I might be doing that as well!

The main reason I am going abroad is because it is required for my studies. As a French education major, it is important that I have a solid background in French and authentic experiences to bring into my future classroom. Luckily, Hope and my program IES have been wonderful in helping me prepare for my trip. I went to a study abroad orientation with the 100 other students from Hope who will be abroad next semester, and have been in constant communication with my IES program representative for the past several months. The process has been long and somewhat stressful but well worth it. My forms are in, and I have my visa and plane ticket!

I will leave for France on January 7 and will return on May 11. During that time, I will be blogging and tweeting about my adventures, so check back for updates often! I can’t wait to fill you in on what I will be doing!

A bientot!

Rachael