It is hard to believe that about a week ago I finished my exams and left campus, yet in less than a week I will be on a plane to Toulouse, France for my junior semester abroad.
Here are some of my intentions for the upcoming semester:
Seek out occasions to practice my major.
I love French, and although I do not live in a francophone country, there are still ways to practice. Besides our class discussions at the Mawr, I keep up with French through books, films (François Ozon!), and even in Philly —Returning from vacation late on a Sunday night I took a lyft to BMC. At the time I had been taking a fascinating French class about feminist writing in the Maghreb. And my lyft driver happened to be an Algerian medical student! I was thrilled that he told me about his family, his religion and culture, and even his opinions on the authors we had read in class!
Pack light; sneakers, map, camera, and curiosity.
I have a tendency to travel with extra baggage; extra clothes, extra appliances, and unnecessary worries. To make the most of the coming year, I want to shed my anxiety but retain curiosity. Once, one of my french teachers told me that the key to Paris was to get lost. “Forget the map, get lost, wander, that’s how you’ll find the real Paris.” I’ve applied her words as a mantra to every city I’ve visited since.
Put the phone down…or a plan with no 4G?
I am ashamed to admit I sometimes dodge social interactions with my cellphone! Last week, I discontinued my phone plan and replaced it with one that does the bare minimum. My phone had simultaneously acted as a shield for my awkwardness, and prevented me from making meaningful connections or having interesting conversations with strangers.
Keep in Touch with the Mawr.
As excited as I am for my semester in France, it is difficult to imagine not being at Bryn Mawr in the Spring. I won’t be here to make flower crowns on May Day. Or to go to Senior Bedtime Stories during Hell Week. Or to eat lunch with my Hell Family. Or to belt out the class of 2019’s song at the last Step Sing of the year. Or to see my closest friends graduate.
As I locked my room for the last time this year it was bittersweet. I will miss my view of the sunset over Goodhart theater and the stained glass door of 130 Rockefeller that always brightened by day. However, I look forward to documenting my Junior study abroad adventures in Toulouse.
Thank you to everyone who has read my blog. It is a pleasure to write about the Mawr and my experiences, and I am looking forward to continuing this Spring.
Wishing all a wonderful New Year! What are your New Year’s Intentions?