Study Abroad Reflection by Olivia Yalden

As my time in London is quickly (and sadly) coming to an end, I have had time to reflect on my amazing experience and can provide advice/information on how other future study abroad students may feel when they are in the same situation I am in now. With having such a finite amount of time in a new place, it is normal to strive to make the most of everyday and want to experience new, meaningful adventures all the time. While this is a great mindset to have, it can be hard and draining to beat yourself up when this isn’t necessarily true all the time. Going off this, my one piece of advice is to remember that even though you are studying abroad in your new country and want to experience all that your new home has to offer, you are also living there and are not on vacation. I say this because it is important to not feel guilty if you have days that are less exciting than others- perhaps you only went to the grocery store, caught up on sleep from a weekend of traveling, or finished a small assignment for a class. This day does not seem like you were able to go out in your city and explore something new, exciting, and memorable but these ordinary days are giving you a glimpse into what life is like to actually live in your country, and not just be on vacation there. In the beginning of my study abroad journey, I would often beat myself up if I felt like I had an “ordinary” day or did not experience something new when in reality, these days are a crucial part of the experience. In addition, these days are necessary for your own health and wellbeing because being in a new country can be exciting, but you may also have stressful days and that is totally normal. Overall, while having the mindset to always be on the go and wanting to experience new things all the time is a great outlook to get the most out of your experience, it is also important to not feel guilty when you need to have a chill day or ordinary day while you are living in your new home.

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