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I Got Sent Home From Study Abroad Two Months Early. Now What?

I’ve fallen in love with myself. Not the girl who works her a** off and always attends to some sort of perfection. Rather, I’ve fallen in love with the girl who doesn’t plan constantly – (yes, for my friends out there reading, this is VERY unlike me). The girl who..everyday finds a new exploration, one that not even one of my greatest plans could predict. Most importantly, I’ve fallen in love with the girl who doesn’t feel like she needs to be the happiest and most energized and positive person in the room every minute of every day. For this girl, her energy is for herself not necessarily for others. But, when she does decide to share with others, it’s not draining. It fulfills her. I’ve also fallen in love with removing toxicity from my life. This means understanding that sometimes being selfish is not being unkind. 


I wrote this about three weeks ago. At the time I was studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Since then, I was sent home based on the CDC recommendations during the Corona Virus outbreak throughout Italy. 

For anyone reading the italicized paragraph it’s clear that my study abroad experience was an absolute dream. When I woke up this morning, I finally understood I had to move on from that experience and make A LOT OF LEMONADE out of lemons (thanks Dad for the advice). 


When I first heard the news that I had to return back to Boston and possibly back to Saint Mikes I thought everything I’ve learned during my abroad experience would be thrown out the window. 

You know that feeling when you come back home after a semester at school and it’s like you had never even left home? Yeah, well imagine that feeling x10. 


I thought returning back to my normal routine meant that I would have to be the happiest in the room at the expense of my own mental health. I would have to deal with the toxicity that continuously drains me, rather than just moving on from it. The previous me would tell myself that I am not allowed to be selfish because that would be unkind of me. I believed that I had this social responsibility to soak up every negative thing in the world and transform it into something positive. 


As I’ve reflected on my time abroad and the people I’ve met, I’ve realized that going back to those old and frankly very unhealthy habits would be a complete dishonor to not only my personal time, but to the people I’ve met and learned such an immense amount from. 


So I’m back from abroad…what now?


Now, I bundle everything I’ve learned and I use it. 


Getting through this experience isn’t necessarily about ‘staying positive,’ rather it’s about reflecting on the moments that I have experienced, conquered, and fallen in love with. 


P.S. Thank you to the HerCampus community for giving me a platform to reflect on this very interesting and unique time in my life…Cheers!


MA || VT || SMC Women's Soccer Player '21
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