I was walking to campus last week when it dawned on me that I was halfway through my semester abroad. While I always know in the back of my head that I’m only here for a semester, it can be easy to forget that this isn’t my “normal life.” From one perspective, it’s nice that I’ve fallen into routines and am enjoying life here so much that this feels comfortable enough to be normal. Yet, it can be easy to fall into routine and fall back on that routine of normal life instead of branching out, exploring, and making the most of every day here. So, this past week I’ve made a conscious effort to branch out of my normal patterns.
Instead of sitting around on campus in my two hour break between classes like normal, I headed to a cafe, grabbed a hot chocolate, and strolled around St. Stephen’s Green. On another day, I stayed on campus late to join the tourists in visiting the Book of Kells and the Old Library at Trinity. There have been a couple of days where I’ve had free afternoons and instead of hanging around my apartment, this week I opted to head out of city centre and go for a hike.
There’s so much to do near Dublin, and it’s so easy to forget that and fall back into the same patterns. All the little things truly do add up, and just doing something different every day- walking a different way home, trying a different cafe, going on a new hike- has made this past week so much more enjoyable. And while consciously breaking my routine is going to help me see more of Dublin, it’s definitely something I’ll work on when I’m back in the States too. Part of the reason I was so excited to go abroad was to break out of my routine and do something new, and I need to remember I can do that back home too, even if it’s in smaller ways.
Next week is going to be a big break from my routine- we have a week off class, and I’m jetting off to Italy and Greece! I’ve been looking forward to this trip for months, and I’ll be sure to post an update once I’m back!