I’m writing this while sitting in a hotel lobby full of students with their eyes glued to their phones.
Meanwhile, it’s Saturday night and we’re in the beautiful coastal town of Sorrento. I’m sure everyone’s mom will be dying to know how the Internet connection was when they tell them about their trip to the Almafi Coast.
My take on the situation? Don’t study abroad if you’re going to half-ass it.
I came to Europe with the mindset that I wanted to experience everything I could. I am prepared to spend every last dime I have, get no sleep and run myself ragged, as long as it means that I had the best time I possibly could during my short four months here.
I don’t want to regret missing a single opportunity, because they are being passed out like free candy. I have a total of four free weekends left in my time in Florence because of the amount of trips I have planned. Did I cry a little bit when I dropped about $1,000 in my first month abroad because of it? Of course I did. But do I think it’s worth it? Of course I do.
So here’s my advice: if you decide to come to Europe, pay attention to Europe. Having my iPhone stolen was a blessing in disguise. I haven’t talked to my mom on the phone in over a week and my Instagram game is completely off, but studying abroad is about being independent and disconnected. More importantly, it’s about growing up.
Please, do not go abroad and not take full advantage of every opportunity. Do it for the sake of the tuition it took to get you here. Or for the hours you spent slaving at that summer job that you hated. Or just for the crazy stories that will knock your friends’ “wild” house party stories out of the water when you get back home.
Just don’t waste your time here. It’s too special, and way too short.