sooooo, there’s a thing about comimg back from an experience abroad that really depresses me.
Places you go to abroad are always different than what you are used to. Whether your time there was wonderful, awesome, adventerous, or difficult, lonely, and “an experience”; it’s always something different. You meet different people, see different places, learn about different views and opinions, and you have a different relationship to friends, family, and yourself.
I had already been back for two months when I started school this Monday. I had gotten used to the closeness of my family and friends again, to my room, my town, and the language. But school confronted me – in da face – with Swiss teenagers, rigid schedules, and with myself. All summer long I didn’t really have to think about myself: I was so busy, and it wasn’t “normal life.”
When you go abroad, you spend a lot of time with yourself because you are the only thing you have from back home. (Objects don’t count.) You are dealing with all this new stuff. You alone know how different everything is.
Now I’m back in school again; back in “normal life,” and it’s still that same Layla who experienced all that new stuff in Minnesota. But I am different. Or not. Or maybe everybody else is. Or not.
I feel like I had just found out who I am, and now have to realize that was only the Minnesota-Layla. I have to get used to school until 6 pm., having one class, people who are only intrested in drinking, partying, and boys, and – on top of everything – Italian grammar. I don’t belong to Minnesota anymore, and I don’t really feel like I belong to Swiss teenagers’ society either. I don’t belong to my old grade anymore, and I don’t really feel like I belong to the new grade, yet.
It’s all very confusing, and I have so much school… Today is the first time my school ended before 5pm. Making new friends is exhausting – even if it’s the third time in a row. I want to do it better than the years before, but I am also more tired, and less motivated than the years before. I am tired of starting over.
My new class is really nice: there’s some wonderful people, and I have some brilliant teachers – OMG my English teacher, I think I’m in love – , things will be alright.
They always are in the end.
If they’re not alright, it’s not the end.
And my exchange year is not the end. I will do more awesome things. I will do and experience awesome things during these next and last two years of school.
Board from OBI
Map from a magazine
Globe from the local library
Lava lamp from my parents a decade or so ago
Thanks for reading.