With the move to Paris only 4 days away, my emotions keep switching between super excited and terrified, with absolutely no middle ground! Here are my main hopes and fears about this first half of my year abroad.
Je ne peux pas parler français!!!!
Having not spoken any French since my oral exam two months ago, I’m even questioning whether I wrote that sentence right! I actually visited Paris for a couple of days with my aunt last Easter, and every time anyone asked me a question, even one as simple as whether I wanted a bag, I panicked and my mind went blank. Does not bode well.
However, everyone says that immersion is magical. So even if the first few weeks are tough, not understanding anything and having to awkwardly insist that everyone speak to me in French despite my incapability, after a month or so hopefully everything will come together.
Also, I’ll keep reminding myself that at least I don’t have to deal with Italian yet! Having only started learning that less than two years ago I am honestly struggling to form a three word sentence right now!
J’aurai des amis?
The other biggest fear of mine is a lack of friends, and the homesickness that would accompany this. I can’t think of anything more depressing than six months in a foreign country without any friends. However, I’ve already met one of my future housemates on Skype and she was lovely! To be honest, I think this fear is deeply mixed with excitement- I cannot wait to meet my housemates in person!
After going to university, and having to make an entire new group of friends there in Durham, I know that it is possible, and never as bad as it seems. I think I suffered from slight homesickness when I started university, so I now know that I can get through it and come out of it with really close and lovely friends!
I think, in the end, this year will be what I make of it. By embracing the challenges the language barrier will pose I’ll improve my language and confidence tenfold whilst making friends and having an amazing time. Obviously that is easier said than done, and in a week’s time no doubt I’ll be shattered and wishing the world spoke one universal language, but right now I’m excited, and I’ll focus on that rather than the not-so-underlying terror!