By Cassi Greenlee
The one question I am almost certain to have to answer when someone approaches me about about my study abroad is “How was it?” And I usually answer with something like “good” or “amazing” but inside, I couldn’t be more frustrated. Summing up an experience like the one I had can’t be done in just one measly word.
Frustration is something I feel a lot now that I’m home. I’m frustrated with the infamously bad Missouri weather, the fact that I can’t talk to my newly made friends whenever I want, always having to use my car to go anywhere, etc. The most frustrating thing about returning home from that “amazing” experience is that everything I had left behind didn’t change but I undoubtedly did.
And now I’m back to life almost exactly as I left it, looking for a part-time job, finishing school, doing homework…not exactly exciting. I miss the adventure and the spontaneity (which is absolutely nuts because I never believed my friend Stephanie when she told me spontaneity is something you can learn).
But as much as I miss my care-free lifestyle, I know that I can’t live without my responsibilities, work, my friends from home and my family. Living in France helped me grow as a person because I am more adventuresome, better at letting things go and more open to change. At the same time, I appreciate the life I have in the States with it’s structure, dependability and richness.
All in all, I know it’s okay to be frustrated, that not everyone can understand my experience abroad, that not everyone can understand that I’ve changed, but if anyone is willing to sit with me, I’d be happy to share my stories and help them understand.