School's out

I ended my last day of class with a 3 euro street massage and an 8 euro piƱa colada. And then a walk home through the Jardin du Luxembourg and an evening visit to the gym: so ends my semester as a student abroad.

I mean, minus that I have my French oral exam Friday and my grammar final on Saturday. But exams abroad don’t count so I say today still marks my last day of school.

The plan had been to begin my internship tomorrow. Scratch that, I was supposed to start a few weeks ago. But with scheduling conflicts on both ends, the date, as of yesterday, has moved to June 11. From now until then, I have two finals to breeze through, a trip to London to see my grandparents and five days with no housing to sort out where in the world I plan to be.

I’ll admit, I’m nervous for the summer. Nervous that I’m here alone while my friends return to the states. I’m nervous about feeling alone, the time difference rarely helping in my attempt to keep in contact with home friends as a way of easing the moments I feel the seperation.

But every once in a while, there’s a moment of reassurance that hits. A moment that reminds me, I’m supposed to stay here. As much as I look forward to my eventual return to the states, six months of living in Paris may be my once in a lifetime opportunity and no way do I plan to pass that up.

As for the moments of reassurance…

The first time was about a week ago while making my way trough the metro. I ran into a woman, likely a few years older than I. She needed help figuring out how to get home. I let her have my metro map as I circled the route she needed to take. We walked together, given we were going the same direction. I inquired as to why she was in Paris. She was interning at UNESCO and had moved from Colombia a few days prior. She spoke no French, but her English was fine and before parting ways, we exchanged emails. Drinks, dinner, whatever. I’m always down for social hour.

And then there was my French teacher, hired by my program to tutor us for our upcoming French grammar exam. We got to talking, during our last session together. And it came up that I'd be here for the summer. She gave me her number—we could meet up for lunch, she suggested.

I have no idea how this summer will pan out. Ill be moving homestays, starting a new job, soaking in Paris in a manner different than I have as a student.

I won’t have my group of American friends as comfort, but thank goodness I'll have the familiarity of the city to fall back on. I think spending the summer alone will only encourage me to seek out a new adventure: befriend the stranger, take on a new activity and throw myself into whatever way I can reap the most out of my summer abroad.

It's all going to be ok.

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