I'm still trying to grasp this idea of studying abroad. I'm in a different place. I've never been to France before. I know nothing about the food, clothes, traditions, language, or the fromage. But for some reason, I feel is OK. I hate it. I didn't come to France to have an OK year. In a way, I came to France to scare myself. The old me was too comfortable. I was one of the only girls of color at my rich, preparatory boarding school. I spent last summer camping and climbing mountains at more than 11,000 vertical feet. I always strived to challenge myself, but somehow I always ended up the same...comfortable. I don't how it happens and if it was my own doing. I never tried to fit in, in fact I always tried to stand out. This year, however, I will be doing the opposite. I am trying to fit in to a new world and new culture. It's actually really hard to do this. I'm not used to it. To fit-in means to observe the culture of the majority and to seamlessly imitate them. I could stick to what I know and stand out as the American. But I won't be doing that anymore. Say hello to a new A!
I have officially become a closeted introvert. I don't know how but for some reason I've pushed myself out of my comfort zone and I'm talking, a lot. Across the room, hiding in the corner, I see the old me. Keeping to herself, waiting for someone to talk to her. I'm glad to leave that girl behind. Now I'm that girl who makes people laugh but who knows when to shut up. I like it. I no longer want to be that girl who waits for the fun, extroverted people to show up in order to enjoy myself. Now I can do so all by myself.
I feel like this is the real me. I don't know how long this will last for. Maybe a month, a year, peut-être even a week. But I'm willing to make the most of it. I think the difference between France and boarding school is that I go home afterwards and I'm by myself. At school, I always have to be around people and I can't handle it all the time.
1. Spend money wisely
2. Get to know my host family well
3. Maintain my weight
4. Go thrift shopping in Rennes
5. Explore + get lost
6. Be more outgoing
7. Get a job
8. Learn french (bien sûr...)
9. Be good friends with one teacher
10. Take cooking classes
11. Get out of my comfort zone as much as possible
12. Be who I want to be