5 Tough Emotional Side Effects Of Study Abroad
Studying abroad is an amazing way to escape the occasional mundanity of university life.
Really, traveling while finishing your degree is an opportunity every student should take advantage of if they can.
Not only do you get to cross a country off your bucket list, but you get to immerse yourself in another culture, meet new people and maybe even find a new relationship while "studying."
However, despite all the unforgettable, occasionally clichéd moments I had when I studied abroad, all the great people I met and the gorgeous guy I fell madly in love with, I wish someone had warned me about the emotional repercussions of studying abroad.
1. Your actions will feel very selfish at times.
The day your best friend calls you crying over the phone saying she misses you and needs your help with boyfriend trouble, you'll start to feel kind of selfish.
When you miss your mom's birthday because you're out touring Paris, you'll feel really selfish.
While the people you care about are struggling with everyday life, you're out having the time of your life -- and that's not a very comfortable feeling.
You won't always be able to be there for your friends or your family in the way you always try to be, and although it's not your fault, you will feel guilty at times.
2. Say goodbye to some of your friends.
Two weeks have gone by and your so-called best friend still hasn't messaged. You give her the benefit of the doubt, yet a whole month later she still hasn't messaged to see how you are.
Wave goodbye to this so-called friend. Distance really demonstrates who your true friends are.
Distance can put a strain on any relationship, but a real friend will check up on you, even if it's only a few quick texts here and there.
Unless your friend has a good reason for not texting you as frequently as usual, it might be time to recognize the friendship as a temporary one.
3. Never expect too much from your time abroad.
Having ridiculously high expectations will only lead to dissatisfaction, and a desire to go back home where you can't be disappointed.
Traveling is what you make of it. Your time away will be full of great moments -- but only if you try.
If you search fantastic places to go to and try to make new connections, your time abroad will be amazing.
But every day can't be an adventure, and every thing you do won't live up to your expectations.
That's OK, though. As long as you keep your expectations reasonable, you wont be disappointed.
You're not going to be mistaken for an Italian pop star Lizzie-McGuire-style, but you still will get to run around Rome with your friends.
4. Not every day will be filled with a clichéd, Instagram-worthy moment.
Even though you're abroad, you're still living your life — and life can be really boring at times.
Some days may not be fun at all. Some days will be incredibly boring or flat out disastrous.
Not every single second will be worth an Instagram story, but there will be unforgettable moments, moments that will remain with you.
And that will make all the days stuck in your dorm doing homework worth it.
5. Try your hardest not to fall in love.
I know you personally may not be able to stop yourself, but saying goodbye to someone I had fallen in love with is something I would never wish on my worst enemy.
Realistically, study abroad relationships can't work. Long-distance relationships are infamously difficult, and if you don't have the financial means, it's basically impossible to try.
Your heart will break. Whenever your mind wanders, you'll always think, "I wonder if?"
But would I do it again? Absolutely.
All of it, despite the emotional setbacks, was completely worth it.