It’s taken me forever to get around to writing this post, and for that, I am sorry. From the very beginning of the quarter, I was crazy busy, and it never really got better. From sorority and internship recruitment to my independent study and extracurricular work, every second of this quarter seemed to be full of work.
I had a much harder time adjusting back to Evanston than I had anticipated, despite knowing what was to come. In Paris, I had no responsibilities, other than classwork, and I spent nearly every weekend traveling abroad or exploring Paris and its surrounding cities. Coming back, I was suddenly expected to return to the insanely stressful life of a Northwestern student, with hardly an adjustment period in between. I also had to deal with some personal issues that cropped up a week before I left Paris, and continued to plague me all quarter, so it was not easy. Luckily for me, this was the warmest winter Chicago’s had in years and years, and so the weather didn’t lower my mood as much as it usually does during winter.
Despite the difficult parts, I still find myself remembering Paris just about every day. I’ve taped a map of Paris up above my bed, so I can look at it every night as I fall asleep. This sounds very cheesy, but I adore looking at all the places I’ve visited and enjoyed.
Before I left for Paris, everyone told me how much fun I would have. I’d had lots of experience with things in college that everyone said were amazing but turned out to be totally overrated, and truthfully, I expected Paris to be similar. But against my own expectations, and despite the horrible bureaucracy, occasionally frustrating attempts at communication, and inflated prices, I fell in love with Paris and everyone I met. I loved speaking French most of the time, I loved eating delicious food, I loved meeting interesting people from all over the world, and I loved the opportunities afforded to me by NU and Sciences Po. Despite the difficult parts of returning, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, and, in fact, hope to work and live in Europe one day. I still keep in contact with most of my friends from abroad, and I hope that we’ll remain friends for a long time, held together by the amazing memories we made. After all, we’ll always have Paris.