Travel Journal: France
My analysis of my time in Strasbourg is one that echoes the larger narrative of my time as a fully-realized, growing young adult. I had the fortune to call France home for three months. It became a part of me and I became a part of it. My experiences were wide-ranging and produced varied emotions. Like any other young person in any other part of the world, I experienced ups and downs. I was happy and sad. The difference is that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and boldly went where I hadn't been before. This is what made my time abroad special. This is what made the time worth it.
I couldn't have had the experiences I had in Strasbourg in any other place on the planet. I wouldn't have learned to balance classes during the week and traveling during the weekends if I were on campus in Danville. I wouldn't have lived with four other men that I didn't know very well. In any other situation, I wouldn't have met the people that I had met and wouldn't have done the things that I had done.
That is the major revelation. My term in Strasbourg was unique because it was mine. I was a first-hand student to the customs of another culture. I took the passport that Centre provided me and I spent three months away from the comfort of family, ESPN, and Centre College's campus. I made new friends and grew closer to those I already knew. I exercised my freedom to do what I wanted with my free time and refused to do what I didn't want to do. When things happened that I didn't like, I couldn't run to my room on campus and shut the door. I faced those problems head on. When things happened that made me very excited, I was pleased to be able to share them with my best friend.
These past three months were comprised of an ongoing learning process. I learned more about Europe more than I would've otherwise. In the same vein, I learned a lot about myself because of the situations that I allowed myself to experience.
I'm fond of the sentiments displayed by the quote, “This day will only happen once.” It's the perfect way to sum up my feelings about my time in Strasbourg. As a junior in college, I had an opportunity to go to France. I may go back to France and I may even spend time in Strasbourg sometime in the future, but I'll never get the chance to be a junior in college again. This is why the last three months were, and forever will be, important. My time abroad has shaped who I am and it will continue to do so until the day I die. We're the sum of our experiences. Understanding that, I feel privileged and honored to say that Centre-in-Strasbourg is one of the many experiences that make up who I am.
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