How to Cure Post Study Abroad Blues
Cueing Sufjan Stevens all year long
CREDIT: Photograph by Sayombhu Mukdeeprom / Sony Pictures Classics
Everyone wants to live a Call Me By Your Name summer — a European summer, relaxing by the river, eating gelato, finding love. With travel restrictions in many countries having been lifted for the first time in two years, many got to experience their own slice of European heaven. However with a return to the states, the study abroad baddies become jaded and depressed, constantly expressing how much better their lives were in Paris and Madrid and subject those around them to “well in Europe we actually” dialogue, which quickly becomes tiresome.
Luckily, we don’t have to leave these European practices in Europe and whether or not you were one of the lucky ones that got to toss a euro in the Trevi Fountain or bike through Knotting Hill, we should all take some aspects of European culture to cure those post study abroad blues and find happiness in small pleasures.
Take yourself on a date
People show so much love for their friends, family and partners through flowers, a dinner date, and surprise gifts. All the love we show for others is extremely important, but it is equally important to show love to ourselves. Let’s imitate the study abroad students, who sat alone at a restaurant in Italy with a novel and a glass of wine. Taking yourself on a dinner date seems daunting at first, but it is extremely healing and relaxing. The more time we spend alone makes us more in touch with our emotions and less likely to depend on outside forces to make us happy. If a solo dinner date seems too daring, start with buying yourself flowers without an occasion or getting yourself a well deserved sweet treat. We have all the power in the world to bring joy into our own lives.
This is the year of being pleasantly alone.
Connect with nature
When was the last time you laid in the grass? There is this childlike glee that occurs when we connect with nature. In a society where productivity is overemphasized, it feels like a rebellion just to lay outside, enjoy music, and let the hours pass without a rush to accomplish anything. In Europe, huge parks are filled with people of all backgrounds enjoying nature as a collective. Even in solitude, there is this feeling of belonging to a whole and belonging to the Earth that should be replicated in the U.S. Next time the weather is perfect, encourage yourself to spend time appreciating it.
CREDIT: Pinterest/@stefani033 CREDIT: Pinterest/@nfarricker CREDIT: Instagram/@sarahbahbah
There are a variety of ways in which we are able to enjoy the small pleasures of life and cure our post-study abroad blues. Additionally, it is important to know the barriers that prevent us from living our Call Me By Your Name Italian dream.
We are paralyzed by our fear of being perceived.
The thought of being perceived as lonely, immature, or lazy stops us from truly being happy and taking care of ourselves. It feels uniquely American to engage in gossip and care about how others are living their lives. The feeling of curating a really unique outfit that is met with judgemental stares from strangers often feels debilitating. It is ironic that a country that prides itself on individualism loves to judge others from expressing their individuality.
We are obsessed with what “everyone is wearing” and feel singled out for looking different and expressing individual style. Even if you are the only one in a maxi dress in your organic chemistry class, lean into uniqueness and practice this form of self love.
Rowdy Magazine has now officially cured post study abroad blues and should be thanked for the lack of tears on campus in the fall. In summation, we can all spend more time alone, buy ourselves flowers and coffee, paint, go on solo dinner dates, wear sundresses, read at the park, go on picnics, cook homemade meals and finally start nurturing our souls.
Gwyneth Baker is an online staff writer for Rowdy Magazine. Her social media is flooded with images from her Italian adventures and she can be commonly found expressing her desire to move to Europe post graduation.