I think that I can officially say that I am on the home stretch of my abroad experience. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely loving my experiences in France/Europe, but with a little over a month left until I go home, I can’t help of look forward to things I’ve been missing from Union, and the US in general.
First and foremost, I am missing my major. At Union I am an Environmental Science major, and in France I study, well, French. Learning a foreign language is a priority of mine, and studying at the University here in Rennes is teaching me so much, but it can get a little repetitive. I chose a science major because I like science and labs and studying the way things work, and I never thought I would be spending so much time in language classes. At Union I take a variety of classes, and I’m sure you can understand that I’m getting a little tired of a schedule that consists of French grammar, French oral comprehension, French written comprehension, French phonetics, French history, and French literature. Are you seeing a theme here? I am loving the culture here and I never thought I would say this but I can’t wait for my first 3 hour science lab when I return to Union.
Second, I am missing the freedom and closeness on campus. While here in Rennes I am free to do as I like, it takes 10 minutes to walk to the metro, and then about 15 minutes on the metro to get to places like the University or the center of town. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, Union has spoiled me with everything being within about 2 minutes of each other. Also, it’s the worst feeling in the world when you get to class and realize you forgot something you needed for the day at your house, 30 minutes away. At Union I also got very used to just running to Reamer to grab a quick snack, West or Upper for a meal, or just over to my friends room to hang out, and I didn’t even have to change out of my pajamas! Here, I actually have to be seen by strangers and use public transportation to get anywhere, so I have to put a decent effort in to make it look like I didn’t just wake up. Sounds lazy, I know, but I still have 1.5 years left of college to wear sweatpants in public before I have to act like a real person and I want to take advantage of it!
Of course, I am missing my friends. Actually, I’m just missing knowing people in general. Everywhere I go at Union I can find at least 5 people in the same place as me that I at least am familiar with. If I head to a dining hall by myself, there is always someone I know already there that I can share a meal with. Here, it’s totally unchartered territory. There are 36,000 students in Rennes, and I know maybe 30 of them. Needless to say, it’s a little harder to find a seat in the library or the dining hall. Not to mention the whole language barrier makes it difficult (but not impossible!) to make friends.
Last but not least, I miss American food! The food in France is amazing and I’m being spoiled, but can’t a girl get some normal tasting ketchup to go with my fries?! Mostly I’m missing my mom’s home cooked meals (especially chicken noodle soup…what in the world do the French eat when they’re sick?!), and Matt’s omelets from West. In France they pretty much only eat bread for breakfast, so I will definitely be using all my meal swipes for breakfast come winter term!
While I have been thinking about all the things I miss from home lately, it doesn’t even compare to how much I’m going to miss France once I’m back at Union, and I will most likely be writing a post about what I miss from France, so stay tuned!