Fulfilling my “college experience”

51739610_1042450655947116_8800656429254967296_n Jessica Leibman/THE REVIEW
Study abroad changed my life.

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I would be rich if I got a nickel every time someone at least 30 years older than me told me that college is the best time of my life. I always rolled my eyes at this statement. If you think about it, it’s actually a pretty sad sentiment that some of the best times of someone’s life happen so early on.

I also hated this cliche because I never found it to be true. Yes, college can be fun, but I always hoped it would be far from the best time of my life. This trip abroad has completely changed my outlook on this mantra from older generations.

At risk of sounding like every other person who has ever been abroad, it was life-changing. I never thought I would actually meet people that I could consider lifelong friends or make memories that I will truly cherish for the rest of my life.

Going to other countries also made me realize how non-aesthetically pleasing the United States is. Of course, there are breathtaking places in America, but just living in Delaware year-round can make you forget that sometimes.

In my last week abroad, I had the privilege to go to Amsterdam for a weekend. It was the most beautiful place I have ever seen and the most amazing experience of my entire study abroad. First of all, everything went unrealistically smooth. We booked our flight with no problem, it was inexpensive and we even managed to find a four-star hotel for only $100 per person for both nights.

We were convinced that we would show up at the hotel’s address and the whole thing would be a scam. Luckily, this was not the case. Amsterdam did everything but disappoint – from the Anne Frank House, to seeing Banksy at the Moco Museum, to a museum dedicated to cheese.

Studying abroad opened my eyes to the fact that I am capable of doing so much more than just studying at the university all of the time. This might seem like an easy task for most people, but I was actually able to book a flight for the first time and travel somewhere new without my parents telling me how to do it.

Being in London was an oasis from the stress and drama that always seem to surround me at the university. Even though I was still technically taking classes, this felt like a much-needed vacation from my normal life, and one that I don’t want to end.

I owe the unforgettable time I had in Europe to the people I met there. Without them, everything would have been entirely different and I would not have enjoyed myself as much as I did. Whether it was sightseeing, going to dinner, seeing a play, traveling to another country or just sitting in a hotel room, they always made me laugh harder than I ever had before.

The only thing I have left to say is I’m incredibly grateful.

Previous columns from abroad

A bucket-list type of week

A Beatles fan at heart

How my luck followed me abroad

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