I’m not going to lie, I miss being abroad. On the daily I daydream about past memories and incessantly scroll through my camera roll. France stole my heart away, and Grenoble still feels like home. I loved my life there and was perfectly content and happy. I didn’t know my strong feelings would linger around this long, however I can’t expect such a big part of my life to just slip away and be forgotten. I wouldn’t want that, and I’m glad my experiences affected me so deeply. That journey is always going to be there with me as time moves forward. That being said, I’ve just begun a beautiful new chapter in my life that has already surprised me in more ways than one. After such an incredible year behind me, it’s exciting to watch new opportunities unfold.
I intended to be home with my family all summer, but it turned out to be only for a month. I was excessively determined and eager to find an internship, and I could find nothing in the Chicago area. At my last breaking point before giving up entirely, I finally got a window of opportunity. This particular fenêtra, was in California. This happened on a wim near the end of my search when I started applying to internships out by my school. I had no expectation of actually getting something, yet taking one! Moving out to CA for the summer at first seemed like a bold decision, but the extremeity of the situation decipated. I still can’t believe sometimes how quickly my summer changed, but I could not be happier with my decision. It took a lot of work planning and making it possible, but I wanted this summer to be different where I could learn something new and grow in a different way. There were so many times I could have given up as many frustrating barriers got in the way, but I would not let them defeat me. I finally got blessed with an opportunity and I grasped it not letting go. The moment I arrived in California, I knew it was the right move.
From that point on, it definitely felt like the real deal. I knew it was going to be a busy summer but I prefer it that way. I’ve taken on a summer class and I commute by train to my internship. On the bright side though I have views of the coast during my long ride and am thoroughly satisfied. My stop leaves me practically on the beach itself! My marketing internship has turned out to be even better than I imagined. I basically took over a women’s job as she left for maternity leave for the summer. Everyone in the office is so friendly and the company has an open door, relaxed policy. I’m learning what it’s like to work a 9-5 full-time job and the rigors of a daily workload. I even get my own cubicle and computer! It’s so cool observing a new company culture and adapting to the norms and expectations of a professional environment. So far I seem to be striving in it, but I still have the rest of the summer to explore the benefits and challenges of an office based work dynamic. The best part of my internship is I actually get to help create some of the marketing material and use my creativity, love for writing, and other skills!
Another huge perk of being in CA over the summer is catching up with friends that I haven’t seen in a whole year. It turns out many of my close friends are here this summer making the whole idea even more rewarding. We may have limited time during the week and usually just the weekend to hang out, but as I learned to do abroad: take full advantage of every moment you have! I plan on going on some fun adventures and using my free time to the fullest.
I’ve essentially learned to design a life for myself. One day you realize the whole world is at your fingertips and you can do anything you set your mind to. The moment you figure this “superpower” out, you discover it’s been there all along. It takes strength, confidence, positivity, and an openness to take advantage of everything this world has to offer. Studying abroad helped me see this and there’s no turning back. The way I see it, there’s no reason to be unhappy with where your life is at and let the tide turn things for you. You’re the one in control and the momentum is exhilirating and addictive. Once you get going, nobody can stop you. So far, the superwoman in me has managed to study abroad for an extra semester and move to California to start an internship. I completely paved this path for myself because it was what I wanted, and I’ve been blessed with the outcomes. I wouldn’t lead my life any other way and I hope everyone finds this mentality in themselves to reach their goals and chase their dreams.
“Be the girl who decided to go for it.”
“Don’t wait for opportunity. Create it.”
“It always seems impossible until it is done.”
“Take the risk or lose the chance.”
“Don’t put off your happy life.”
“Remember, it’s up to you, and only YOU, to design the life you want…”