How COVID Changed my Abroad Experience

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would get sent home after 2 months of studying in London due to a worldwide pandemic. I was having the time of my life, traveling to cities such as Paris, Brussels, Prague, and Budapest. I was able to get out of my comfort zone. Emerging in another culture, becoming better friends with the kids on my program, becoming independent. It was truly an experience I would do all over again in a heartbeat. There were so many trips I still wanted to go on and parts of London that I still hadn’t seen yet. I kept telling myself I have plenty of time left. Clearly, I thought wrong.

Getting sent home because of COVID taught me to embrace every moment in my life and do everything I want rather than push everything off. When I got home my world suddenly became so conflicted. I went from taking the tube to class every morning to being in a city to sit in my bedroom at home in a suburb of New York, not being able to leave. Also, I went from being independent to my parents breathing down my neck for every move I make.  There were moments I refused to look back at pictures from my time abroad because it made me sad that I still was not there. Every day that went by of me thinking, “Oh I was supposed to do this today.” I feel like I am always the one to think that I am always the victim of bad luck. I tend to feel like every time something goes wrong, I am on the other end of it. Little did I think that getting sent home would teach me a bigger lesson than what four months abroad could. I need to take more advantage of every second because in a blink of an eye it can change. From that point on I started saying yes to everything that I was invited to and started embracing my time at home because when would I ever be able to spend this much time at home again? 

Going abroad during the time of COVID certainly is the story of a lifetime. Who gets to say they went abroad during a worldwide pandemic? We all were joking around when the COVID rumors started coming about how it wasn’t a big deal. Little did I think that we would get to a point in time where masks were the everyday necessity. 

Even though my experience was shortened I am still happy about my time in London and learning how I am way more capable than I was aware of.

 

Just pictures of London and being abroad Original photo by Julia DellaRusso

 

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