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Alyssa: On Being Back…

July 19, 2009

I have been back in the United States for two weeks. The feeling is indescribable, but not so much in a good way. As I prepared for my trip, I came across a graph showing the emotions one goes through when planning, experiencing, and returning from a study abroad experience. It began with intense excitement and happiness as one decides to go, then drops a bit during the preparation due to the forms and fees one experiences, then goes up as departure approaches and the program begins, then drops as the frustration of a new place sets in, then up when one gets comfortable and begins to experience the culture, then down when the reality hits that you must leave. After returning your mood elevates as you get to see your family and everyone is happy you are home.

But after that, it drops. It dips down quite quickly as the people around you lose interest in your stories, you have to go back to work, and then come to the reality that you are flat broke in a place that lacks the same interest as your host city did.

That is exactly where I’m at. Suddenly I’m completely alone in my apartment in a city that doesn’t really fascinate me anymore. I feel as if I’m here for my last semester of school and for no other reason. I feel anxious and uneasy with the lack of excitement I had gotten so used to while abroad.

To try and combat these feelings, I plan on purchasing a guide book for the Twin Cities to ease back into the culture here. Although, I need to wait about a month before I get paid for that to happen. I’m trying to stay busy and creative but it’s proving to be quite difficult. It also doesn’t help that I’ve caught another weird and unexplained sickness that won’t seem to go away.

I’m hoping this is all part of the roller-coaster of emotions I’m supposed to experience as part of a study abroad trip and everything will get back to normal. (what’s truly normal at this point, I don’t know.)

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