Friday, February 10, 2012


Stupidly, I just tortured myself for a bit by looking at pictures of my friends from home. In albums with clever quotes about it being the last year of high school, or simply the word, "Senior!," I can't help but feel insanely left out.

Coming into this, I was well aware of the fact that I would at some point feel like this. I tried to prepare myself for the way that all my friends would keep on living. And why wouldn't they? It's not as if they're living their lives just because I'm gone or doing anything they wouldn't be doing if I was still there. It's so hard to put this into words right now and I feel like I'm sounding crazy, but just bear with me.

Even though I'm living in a foreign country this year, even though I'm living in EUROPE this year, even though I've been to four new countries so far and will go to more, even though I've met the most amazing people I've ever known, even though I am learning a new language, even though I'm immersed in a new culture, even though I'm having an amazing time... I wonder what things would've been like had I just stayed home. I look at pictures from cheer and from forensics and read this year's newspapers and it actually hurts me to know that I'm not there and I'm not participating. 

For anyone who doesn't know, my life in the US this year would've been really awesome. I would've been on varsity cheer again, I'd be debating, and I'd be the editor of the school newspaper. I'd have a job and my car and my family and my cats. I'd be surrounded by familiar faces and foods and English. 

But this is seriously the perfect example of idealizing ( this the right word?) home. I know I would've had arguments with my friends. I know I'd complain about being too busy. I know I'd be sick of having to do so much homework. I know I'd be tired of writing articles for a newspaper that is way too under-appreciated. I'd be bored at times. I'd get frustrated with the immaturity of the people I was around. I'd miss my best friend Alissa and my other senior friends from last year. I'd have bad days where all I wanted was to get away -- which is exactly what I have here.

My life in Hungary isn't perfect. I feel stressed about the fact that I don't speak only Hungarian all day and I do spend too much time on the computer. I feel guilty about not hanging out with my host family all day. I feel worthless at school when all I do is sit in English classes and am not invited to participate by the teacher or the class, and I actually don't learn anything. I feel like I don't know what to do with my time here, and waste it by watching Gossip Girl or reading Kindle books. 

With all of this said, I don't regret coming here. I know my life here is a million times more interesting than my life in America was. Sure, it's not perfect, but at home it wasn't perfect either. It's really hard to keep that little fact in mind. When I think about home, I don't think about the bad things that I am happy to be away from... I think about the good things that I'd do anything to get back. And it's funny, because one day I'm going to feel exactly like this, but in reverse. I'll be dying to get my time in Hungary back and idealize it as well.

So, while I feel like this is entirely random and scattered and maybe a little too honest, I hope some day an exchange student who feels the same can read it and know that they aren't the only ones who've felt like this. It's so hard being here. It's a challenge almost every day. In the end, though, I know it'll be worth it. I don't think there will ever be a day in my life that I regret coming here. I'm going to try to make the rest of the time here as amazing as possible, since I only have about 19 weeks left.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekend in Budapest! (with pictures)

I just got home (like literally two hours ago) from spending the weekend in Budapest! I was only supposed to spend Friday night there and come home on Saturday evening, but the snow was so bad both in Budapest and Szeged that it was safer for me to wait until today.

Friday after school, Olga and I took the train together. On the way there, we ate "peanut confections" (Mexican candy) and played Go Fish. Once we got to Budapest, we met with her friend Carlo and I saw Alex and Terry! A few minutes later, Annika showed up as well and we all went to McDonalds (without Olga and Carlo) to meet with the others. There were about ten of us and we spent the night talking and listening to music. I spent the night at Alex's house

Saturday morning Alex and I went with her host dad to our Rotary meeting thing. A few of the other exchange students weren't there due to the snow. All of us gave our country presentations and they were really entertaining to watch. After that, the future outbounds were told which district they're going to. Unfortunately, no one is going to my district next year. However, a girl from Szeged is going to the other district in California that Rotary sends to! I'm really excited for her to find out and can't wait to tell her everything about California! After all the Rotary things, Alex and Annika and I went back to Alex's house. We ate some lunch and then laid in Alex's bed watching YouTube videos and showing each other friends from home on Facebook. Annika and I left Alex's at around 10 and went to her house.

At Annika's house, she Skyped with her family in Colorado for a bit. After, we made ourselves some sandwiches and hot chocolate and I called my dad and talked to him. When we were done eating, we went to her room and decided to watch the movie Holes. The whole time we were talking about how great of a movie it is and how much we love it. We started falling asleep so we decided to finish watching it after we slept. When we woke up, we did in fact finish watching Holes.

Our journey to the train station was quite an eventful one. It started off with us having to run uphill in the snow so we could catch the bus. After, we got on the tram and there was a giant but friendly dog on it as well. We got to the metro station with about 15 minutes until my train left. The first metro came pretty quickly, and when we got off we ran to where the next metro would come. When we got there, we saw that there was 5 minutes until the next, and 3 minutes until the train left. However, we still continued to the train station so I could get my ticket and catch a later train. Raymond was on the train and said that it still hadn't left yet, and when we got there we saw that the train was delayed 15 minutes! We couldn't believe how lucky I was, since the next train wasn't for another 4 hours. So, I took the train with Raymond and am now back in Szeged!