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Mundanity in the study abroad experience

Everyday when I step outside the apartment, it’s hard not to feel like I’m on some extended, ridiculously long vacation rather than somewhere I’m actually just trying to live my life. Every shop and every bar feels like a potential opportunity that it’s up to me not to waste. One thing I’ve had to (force myself to) learn is that even though 4 months is a long time, it’s really not that long and I can’t count on myself to do everything there is to do or see everything there is to see within it.

The Gardens of Versailles!

I feel like teaching myself to be mundane has taught me a lot of good life lessons, mainly about appreciating the little things there are to enjoy in this city. Sitting in a café or taking a walk at home is generally a boring, bland way to pass the time whereas here it’s all about the vibes you’re able to soak in. Paris is special in all the little ways: the baguette you can buy just around the corner, the way you can sit in cafés and people watch, listening to people gab on in French. And then the constant beauty of being surrounded by this city makes every walk feel like an opportunity to reflect, to soak up an ambiance you’ll only get to experience for a short time.

Study abroad is a pretty iconic experience, not just in the context of college but also in life. The constant question is how you can “make the most of it” but it’s a train of thought I felt I had to abandon before I really could feel like I was fully feeling out what my experience meant to me.

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