What Has My Semester Abroad Taught Me?  

As I pack my bags and prepare for my journey back home, I cannot help but tear up. The semester has flown by so fast, and it only feels like yesterday that I arrived at my flat in Tufnell Park for the first time, anxious and overwhelmed with so much unknown. I have grown so much since then, and I am grateful for all the places I have been able to travel and all the new things I have learned from my classes and from living on my own, an ocean away from my friends and family back home. I am writing one more blog post to reflect on what my time in London has taught me before my semester is officially over. 

It is important to have work-life balance. Back on campus, there were days when I got so caught up in my schoolwork and did not take enough break time that I burnt myself out, making it harder to hang out with friends and spend time in downtown Syracuse. Knowing my time abroad was limited, I wanted to see all the sights, try all kinds of new restaurants and watch as many West End shows as possible. So I focused on creating a balance to get work done efficiently to make time for exploring London. When I return to campus, I want to maintain this balance to make the most of my last three semesters and prepare for my future career path.  

Go with the flow. Life is not perfect. There will be delayed flights, missed trains and hectic exam days. When faced with obstacles, you need to stay calm and be adaptive. Do not be afraid to ask for help and turn to others for guidance or support. Sometimes, plans might not work out the way you want, but you need to keep moving and stay positive.  

I am more capable than I give myself credit. Studying abroad is easier said than done. I came to London not knowing many people and unsure if I could handle living in the city. But I learned how to take the Tube, plan my own trips and step out of my comfort zone while making new friends and traveling to new places as an outsider. I should have more faith in myself as a student and as an adult, and I should take charge more in the classroom and beyond.  

And, most importantly, Pret is better than Starbucks. I will miss my daily caramel lattes and the Pret coffee subscription more than anything. 

And here come the tears. As sad as I am now, I will always look back on this semester as an unforgettable experience and think of all the amazing memories I have made. If you are on the fence about going abroad, I encourage you to take the leap. You will learn so much about yourself, see new places, and meet amazing people. I hope to eventually come back to London, whether for vacation or work, but until then, Cheers!