During my semester-long stay in Rome through LMU’s popular Study Abroad program, I grew accustomed to the Italian way of life, which rolls at a slower pace, is more laid back, and offers a lot more free time to sit back, take in the scenery and enjoy life. Such an invigorating life experience renewed my spirit, and taught me to pursue my academic and career goals with fierce determination, but also to pursue activities that offer me an outlet for expression and enjoyment as well.
Since my return to LMU, I have taken on an admirably heavy course load, began pledging the cinematic arts fraternity Delta Kappa Alpha, and got back into the swing of things with my sorority sisters. I have been applying to internships, working on balancing a social life, and making sure I have time for myself to decompress and do the things I love outside of LMU such as boxing and dance.
I will admit, when I first got back to campus, I felt a bit lost and had to re-discover my footing in the beautifully hectic universe that is LMU. But after following my new credo, I find myself thriving. Thus, I have created a list of tips for my fellow academic tourists who may find themselves in the same situation — feeling a bit lost, or perhaps curious as to what happens after the study abroad journey ends. For while, studying abroad is certainly one of the most incredible experiences one can have, I promise LMU also has plenty of incredible experiences to be had.
- Find your people – If you are interested in the entertainment industry rush DELTA KAPPA ALPHA- it has thus far been my favorite LMU experience and I’m not even an official member yet. That being said, if that doesn’t sound like your thing look into Greek Life, service organizations, intramural sports — anything that builds camaraderie because one of the best ways to get over that feeling of being out of place, is to find your place.
- Find outlets – I grew up dancing 24/7 so for me I make sure to set aside time to take at least one dance class a week. I also love boxing, and I am trying to make time for that as well! Whatever your outlet is whether it’s painting, working out, watching Netflix, or reading a book – it is so important to make time for yourself and the things that make you happy.
- Do school – I personally need structure in my life, and what better structure than school! Everyone has varying degrees to which they engage in school and their classwork, but after studying abroad especially, I gained a love for learning new things- Where else am I going to take a class on say “the history of genocide” when I graduate?
- Set goals – mine happen to be my career, but it can literally be anything from working out more, to finishing all 10 seasons of Friends. It’s a great feeling to have something to work toward, and that drives you.
Transitioning into a new environment or back into an old one is never easy, but there is so much within, and outside of LMU at you fingertips – you just have to take a chance and make things happen.