Things I Realized by Studying Abroad

Lily Mazur University College Dublin, Ireland


March 9, 2017

I’m sure every blogging platform in existence is swamped with posts like these, so what’s the harm of one more?

Irish weather is nowhere near as miserable as everyone makes it out to be. It’s actually sunnier than home, and don’t get me started on the lack of crazy wind speeds. Maybe I happen to come from the one place with worse weather, but Dublin is a lovely respite from Rochester winters.

You realize how much you love and miss your friends. While living in the same dorm or going to the same classes, they’re a part of your everyday life and taken as a given. Now, I haven’t seen some of my best friends since May, and finding it so strange to not have the same names and places to talk about. Co-op plus study abroad is pretty rough on relationships with others, but it makes me so excited to come back in August as well and catch up.

Speaking of things you’re used to, it’s so strange coming to a new campus and not knowing where the couches, hidden study spots, and shortcuts are. While I fight for one of the uncomfortable countertop style desks in Engineering Hall, I can’t help but reminisce for the chairs outside of Xerox or the couches in Erdle.

As with anything else, going abroad is what you make of it. I’ve seen some people completely reject the culture they live in and seen others fully embrace it. There’s always been some stigma against study abroad as if it’s a giant party with zero academics, I wish that was the case considering how many hours I’ve put into some lab reports. Really, I’ve learned how to take advantage of where I’m living when I’m not working.

Finally, stop overthinking. I’ve realized that social worries are never as bad as we make them out to be. Post whatever you want on social media, message whoever asking if they’re going to some event. If abroad, you’re there for a semester, don’t waste time worrying. Even at home, colleges are big places, it doesn’t matter. Do what you’re happy doing, and don’t sacrifice that in worry of what people think.


Ireland Semester