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

It’s almost here. The final curtain, the fifth act, the home stretch, the rolling credits… as the wind down for most people’s year abroad begins, what’s that I hear? Is that the awkward and somewhat grating sound of third year confessions? I believe it is, and boy do we have some crackers.

Brace yourself for a whirlwind of red faces, tinder fails and ground swallowing tales that have left some of our brave linguists somewhat scarred- I proudly introduce, anec-don’ts, the year abroad edition.  

(Names have been changed to avoid making bad situations… worse.)


1.This boy-hating escapee:

“Don’t ever be in a relationship. Also just don’t agree to meet up for “English conversation practice” with strange men, who then incessantly text you so you have to pretend you’re leaving the country.”


2.This military secret:

“On the whole if you are in the position to go back with an army guy after a night out (however attractive), confirm that you won’t be walking into a chalet filled with 27 other large and smelly army men, I’m sure it rarely ends well.”


3.This gal who thought three was a crowd:

“Perhaps the time that I met up with Ben in Montpellier in some bar in town (to be a sophisticated lady and prendre un verre with him) but he managed to convince me to go to his friend’s place- where there was a ‘party’ happening. This party turned out to be me, Ben and this other guy Toni- CLASSSIC FRANCAIS always trying to make everything into a ménage a trois. Toni was quickly left alone in his apartment”


4.     This chica who doesn’t think Paris is all its cracked up to be:

“When I was in Paris I met a guy on the steps of Sacre Coeur who spoke 5 languages and had a stutter (I was just proud that I could understand him), we wandered around Montmartre at dark and then got up to some cheeky business in a deserted public garden. To this day he still messages me saying things like ‘on ne sais jamais… on se croisira peut-etre quelque part’ (translation- you never know… we might cross paths again one day) but honestly, I think it might just be best to leave it in Paris…


5.     And this long-y but good-y…

“There was this guy called Jeff and this girl called Sarah, he’s Irish and she’s Canadian. They’d kinda gotten with each other a few times already but then Jeff got cold feet about the whole thing. Until him, me, some Irish and French people went to this club and got trashed, so we all go home at like 4:30. When I’m home I get a call from Jeff, telling me he’s decided to go to Sarah’s place instead of going home and that he’s going to throw rocks at her window until either a) she lets him in or b) I ring her and tell her to let him in (I asked why he couldn’t ring her himself but got no answer from that drunken idiot). So while I’m trying to convince him to go home here starts throwing the rocks and shouting for her to let him in, so I called her because I didn’t want him to get arrested. And she let him in and he stayed the night there. Whether anything romantic took place I don’t know. He did crack her window with a rock though.”



6.     This responsible adult:

“Let’s just say, don’t ask anyone’s age…. Just try to find a discreet way to make sure that they’re over 18 and have finished high school/aren’t one of your students. It’s fair game after that.”


7.     This Tinder Rookie

“I got Tinder on my birthday during my first week in France and went a little right-swipe crazy. Although I had very little intention of meeting any of my matches I set my radius to 5km… Turns out if you don’t want to open the elevator door of your new apartment block and find one of your matches (that you’d spoken to for a long time in Tinder years) standing there gawping, hold off on the match making until you’ve actually been introduced to your neighbours the traditional way.”


8.     This conversation with my American house mate (we’ll call her E):

E: So yeah, my friend met this ski instructor at a bus stop and they hit it off, she always has all the luck.

F: How about you? Have you got any anec-don’ts I can use?

E: Er, I liked a guy last year abroad, he turned out to be gay. Yeah, don’t do that.



9.     This petite flirt who is overcoming language barriers:

“After having spontaneous chilled drinks with a fittie I’d met in a bar, instead of saying I had to go home and prepare my lessons (cours), I said I had to go home and prepare my body (corps), he stopped eating and asked me to repeat what I said and then spent 10 minutes making me practice the difference with him.”


10.  This wise social media guru

“Be careful and double check (maybe even triple check) that you’re sending those sexy snap chats to the right guy…….I’ll leave it at that.”


11.  And finally this gentlemen

“It’s safe to say Valentine’s Day is an emotional time for many drunk, single girls. Apparently what you shouldn’t do is reject one of these girls at a valentine’s day party where you are the only boy, as it leads to crying, hostile glares, and a drunk girl from Texas telling you ‘I think you should leave.’”


Thank you to all the wonderfully awkward people who have contributed to these confessions- your terrible situations will hopefully teach us all a thing or two.

Thanks Chandler, the struggle is indeed real.


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Edited by Nicole Jones

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Fran McKay


  3rd Year, History & French, spending a year working in a primary school in Valence, France. Go on, have a read.
Sam is a Third Year at the University of Nottingham, England and Campus Correspondent for HC Nottingham. She is studying English and would love a career in journalism or marketing (to name two very broad industries). But for now, her favourite pastimes include nightclubs, ebay, cooking, reading, hunting down new music, watching thought-provoking films, chatting, and attempting to find a sport/workout regime that she enjoys!