You always see cheesy ads with fresh-faced teen-agers telling you about an amazing experience studying abroad is. People come back and share tales and photos of their journeys, and you are excited for them, but unless you've been there yourself, it's hard to feel the same excitement as they do.
Now that my experience abroad has come to a close, the best words of advice I can give to you is to do it yourself. If you've ever thought about or had the desire to study abroad, do it while you still can.
Now understand, I realize the sacrifices that go into it, perhaps you have to give up a summer of lounging around to work and save money or maybe going out to the bars and blowing your cash on beer will have to be on a temporary hiatus, but trust me, it's well worth it.
These past few weeks I've been reflecting on all of the amazing experiences I've had here that I had only once dreamed I would have; seeing Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower, riding on the Grand Canal in Venice, seeing all of the painstakingly beautiful frescoes Michelangelo painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Not to mention performing on the Globe's stage, seeing more plays and musicals in one semester than ever before and just living in London.
Before I left the states, it felt like I was never going to actually get to London, and once I got here, it felt like I would never have to leave and go back to the states. It's funny how your mind plays games with you like that.
Even after a semester here though, I still feel like there is so much that I didn't get to tap into here, but having said that, I can say with some confidence that I will be back here some day - although I can't say when or in what context, I can't imagine not coming back.
Of course now that I've psyched myself into the mindset that I'm finally coming home I know I'm going to be floored at all that's happened even just at BSU since I've been gone. Christmas trees, the completion of the bell tower, not to mention the amazing winning streak of our sports teams.
The conclusion I've come to is that although the experience has been beyond what words can describe (although trust me, I try) I am ready to come home. After all, Judy Garland says there's no place like it.
So, until next time kiddies, life is a journey so you might as well enjoy the ride.
Write to Angela at email@example.com