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.

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