Contrary to what my previous post might have implied, I actually enjoy Strasbourg. A lot. This god forsaken first world country is starting to grow on me.
It just took two weeks to realize that. Go figure.
The first two weeks were hell. Internally, that is. Externally, everything was great. I was making new friends, going to interesting classes, drinking beer at bohemian restaurants, you know, the usual cool study abroad things. But, on the inside, I was scared. I wanted to be back home, studying at Lewis & Clark college. I spent more than a few hours in front of my computer screen, watching American television on Netflix, just trying to drink in some familiarity. On top of homesickness, I berated myself for not wanting to be here.
You see, I was surrounded by people who were outwardly so excited and happy to be here. I felt like I was missing something. I was frustrated with myself. How dare I not want to be on this life-changing adventure? People would kill to be here! I kept telling myself: Drake, why aren't you okay? What aren't you seeing? They can see 'it'!
Turns out, it takes awhile to see. The hell started to freeze over this week, slowly at first, then all at once. Yesterday, something just clicked. I felt like I had lived here forever and I didn't want to go back home anytime soon. A complete internal 180.
I suppose that this is normal. People adjust at different paces. But, while I was going through that 'adjustment', I felt alone in that feeling. Perhaps my new friends felt similarly. They certainly didn't show it. Neither did I. That might be why I felt alone. It's possible that we don't want to show that feeling, not wanting to come off vulnerable or weak. Ironically, not being open about it might just worsen it. But then again, it might just be me.
Regardless, I'm happy to be here. I'm also excited to be finally blogging about my experiences. Afterall, I'm contractually obligated to as a study abroad student.