How to Deal With All of Your Friends Studying Abroad

The fall semester is tough; leaving home after a three-month vacation, getting thrown back into insanely difficult classes, attending the career fair, interviewing for internships and more, but support from your friends makes it a lot easier...unless, they’re gone. Imagine entering your fall semester with 6 of your 9 closest friends studying abroad. Nightly group dinners and hanging out in the elevator lounge turns into Snapchats and FaceTimes. The size of the group message decreases and the funny antics dwindle. I thought I was handling all of this fine until a girl in my section came up to me and said, “Hey Kayla, aren’t like all of your friends gone this semester?” I slowly nodded before she said, “Wow, that’s sad.” Suddenly, I realized yeah, it is sad, and I’m sad. I walked back to my room and began to cry then I sent a very emotional and very extra message to our group chat, which I later realized was completely ridiculous. Think somewhere along the lines of a drunk girl texting her ex-boyfriend after his favorite song comes on at the bar. Yeah, it was that bad. I instantly knew that if I had any hope of making it through this semester that I would have to make some changes. So, here is my current guide for how to survive a semester at school when all your friends are abroad.


1.     Stay busy: Use all the extra time you have from not goofing off with your friends to throw yourself into studies. Your grades and your emotions will thank you. Search for internships to apply for. Start your journey towards becoming the boss you were always meant to be. Pick up hobbies or new forms of exercise. Join hall council, internal sports, a club, take classes at Pure Barre. Do literally anything that you are interested in. The time you are spending doing these things will keep you from wallowing in self-pity about your situation.

2.     Branch out: Not only have I used this semester to meet new people, but I have also begun to reconnect with people that I maybe hadn’t talked to in a while. Reach out to all those friends you made freshman year because a lot of them are probably in the same boat as you. Get to know the people in your major. This one is a little easier for me because there are only about 80 people in my major, but I realized that while I had some close friends in my classes, I could use this semester to strengthen and grow some other relationships. Remember, you can never have too many friends.

3.     Take time to learn about yourself: In college we are often so caught up in getting to know new people that we forget to take time to get to know ourselves. This is a time in our lives where we are constantly changing. It is important to set aside time to think about your wants, needs, and aspirations. Don’t be afraid to be a bit selfish because it will pay of in the end. Also, remember to practice self-care. Sleep, exercise, visit McWell, and the University Counseling Center if needed.

4.     Remember it’s only 1 semester: Like every semester before it, it will fly by, but the changes you make to better yourself and your life will continue throughout the rest of your life.

Images: All Images Provided By Author

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