Adjusting to Life Back in the States

My semester abroad pushed me out of my comfort zone and gave me a learning experience I could not obtain by simply sitting in a classroom. It introduced me to new experiences and different ways of living. It is a time period of my life that made the most impact on the way I live. 

 

A song lyric that popped into my head as I started writing this article is “don’t know what you got, ‘till it’s gone.” I think this accurately describes my transition into my life back home. I did appreciate my time in the Czech Republic to its fullest and took advantage of every moment spent overseas but coming back home felt weirdly too easy. It’s always comfortable to come back to what you know. Most everyone around me speaks English again. Now I drive my car instead of taking the tram to the grocery store. I have a dryer. I can no longer drink alcohol legally. I am not meeting people from different countries as often. Football is a big deal. I can hang out with my friends from home and school. This is normal, though. Little things like these are things that I am so used to, having spent 19 years in the United States. 

 

However, it isn’t until you leave an experience like this one that you start to miss the things that became so normal on a day to day basis living in Prague. Going on runs in the city and finding a new castle or gallery that I haven’t seen before. Taking a day trip to the Pilsner brewery. Riding public transportation to meet up with friends. Spending only 20 crowns at the bakery for breakfast. Feeling completely safe if I have to walk home alone at night. Sitting at a cafe doing homework and planning trips all day. Taking weekend trips to different countries. Seeing the bluest water I have ever seen. Being a part of a conversation that switches from one language to another. I miss some of the more simple things about life in the Czech Republic. I also miss the vibe the people give off. They often do not care what others think. They are bold in their actions, their fashion, and in their life. Czechs are, for the most part, pretty straightforward people. I think we, as Americans, often think and care deeply about what others think of us. This mentality can be detrimental to one’s self-esteem. 

 

This year I am going to work hard to not lose the virtues and values that became important to me during my time abroad. I am going to plan my future but not get lost in the unknown. I want to enjoy each moment as it comes and make the absolute best of the situation I am in.