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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BC chapter.

Everyone knows someone who has gone abroad at BC. If you don’t know someone who is abroad now, you are sure to know someone who has gone in the past. And when you talk to someone who is abroad or who has been abroad, the same questions and phrases seem to come up. “Tell me about your amazing trips! Where are your fabulous pictures? I want funny stories!” And usually these are greeted with people who are happy to share tales of European travel, of riding camels in Morocco and tasting the food (and drink) of so many new cultures. We Instagram, we get our “abroad profile picture,” and acquire new friends, even from BC, just from this shared experience. I’ve been here in London a little over a month now, and I find that this experience, this risk, this “abroad” life, has a lot more to it than the show, the smiles, the travels, and the stories.

When you talk to other kids going abroad, you often find that they are leaving something. Not necessarily that they are running away from someone or some place, but perhaps they needed a break from a certain area in their lives. Maybe it was about time for them to get out of the BC bubble, take a break from roommates and house parties or from a relationship that wasn’t working out. When I got to London, I realized very quickly that I had had nothing to leave. I had a supportive family who made all of this possible, wonderful friends and positive relationships, a happy life at home and at BC. Which made me ask myself why I decided to do this in the first place.

I think that people go abroad to find something. My closest friend here, Jo, and I have often talked about this phenomenon, thinking about our other friends abroad in London and around the world, and what they could possibly be looking to find in their own adventures. Some people are looking for their best selves, some people are looking for a way to cut loose, some people are looking for a romantic, serendipitous meeting or they are just looking for something to be excited about. Some are looking to find culture, or the perfect pasta dish, a heightened worldview or a broader understanding of the way the world works in a place that isn’t centered on America.

So what am I trying to find? Well, in the few times in life I have been asked to describe myself, I usually say that I am independent. It took one week in London to realize that independence was a concept I really didn’t quite understand. I am extremely dependent on the people around me. I have incredible friends and family and I find strength in them, and not often in me. I know who “Sami” is when I am around my friends and family. So what am I finding here? I think I am trying to find out who “Sami” is when she’s just herself.

I’m not even halfway there and it appears I’ve already done it all. I’ve had all of my possessions stuck in Boston for my first three days in Europe. I’ve had to learn to feed myself, to socialize with my effervescent freshmen British flatmates, and to find my way through a British education system that pretty much puts the learning in your (procrastinating) hands. I’ve seen nightclubs and bars and pubs and fish and chips, I’ve laughed over accents and cultural differences with people who live here, and I’ve clung desperately to the American drinking games and activities that I still get to participate in with my friends from BC. I’ve shared hostel rooms with some strange people and reveled in the welcoming nature of cultures so different from my own.

But being abroad is overwhelming. It’s a blur of travel and happiness and giggles, but also of some lonely nights and a lot of missing home. It is an Instagram and Facebook picture perfect three months, but also a lot of hours clocked in on UK Netflix and a lot of comfort chocolate.

I didn’t come here to leave anything, but I have already grown to appreciate even more the things and people I have left behind. I can only hope that finding an independent self-worth, the adventurous “Sami,” will help me make those relationships that I get to come home to, even more important and meaningful.

So go ahead. Ask me for pictures and embarrassing stories of crazy nights and that one time I decided to see a Sean Paul concert on a Tuesday. Ask me about my classes and about my flatmates and my travel plans. I’ll tell you about the crepes in Paris, and I’ll tell you about an Irish man singing the best cover of “Wonderwall” I have ever heard when I was in a Dublin pub. Ask your friends the same. Talk to your friends in Europe and South America, in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, and ask about all the great times they are having. But I would also suggest telling them how proud you are of them for doing this. Because abroad is incredible. It is an amazing opportunity that very few people get to have. It’s magical and surreal and absolutely insane, but it also isn’t easy. Finding something never has been.

Kelsey Damassa is in her senior year at Boston College, majoring in Communications and English. She is a native of Connecticut and frequents New York City like it is her job. On campus, she is the Campus Correspondent for the Boston College branch of Her Campus. She also teaches group fitness classes at the campus gym (both Spinning and Pump It Up!) and is an avid runner. She has run five half-marathons as well as the Boston Marathon. In her free time, Kelsey loves to bake (cupcakes anyone?), watch Disney movies, exercise, read any kind of novel with a Starbucks latte in hand, and watch endless episodes of "Friends" or "30 Rock."