This past fall, I had the opportunity to spend the semester in Paris. It was an experience that I’ll never forget for so many reasons. Studying abroad is something that I believe every student should be able to do. It’s hard to put into words why I love Paris so much, but I’m going to try to do it here.
Paris taught me what it means to live. It’s so easy to become focused on work, work, work, work, work (I hope you read that in a Rihanna voice) here in United States. In Paris, it wasn’t always about the work. It was about people and food and really enjoying life. The cafe culture was one of my favorite parts of the French experience because people chose to sit in cafes for hours, people watch, and chat with friends instead of just going home and flipping on a television.
Another thing I loved about Paris was that it challenged me so much. There were so many times when I wanted to cry out of frustration at the cultural differences or times when stuff felt so much harder to do than it did at home. But, in pushing through these moments and figuring things out on my own, I learned that no battle was too great because I have God by my side.
A general sentiment that I’ve shared with others who have been to Paris, with which they agreed, is this: Paris makes you feel like a kid again. Everything is new and glittery and fun. Things are scary. But, it also makes you grow up. You have to learn how to fend for yourself and navigate the unknown. And that’s what makes Paris so incredible to me. It’s like Neverland, but it’s also not. It’s so much better. It molds you into something great, something you never dreamed you could become. It holds all of these crazy characters and interesting people and beautiful architecture. It’s unlike any other city in the world. It’s magic and light.
I hope that I can live every day like I’m in Paris.