Fear

WORD OF THE DAY: papillon-butterfly

Bonjour tout le monde!

My name is Elizabeth Brogan and this semester, I’ll be taking you on my adventure through Skidmore in Paris. Some of you may remember the Skidmore OCSE takeover I did last semester while I was studying abroad through Brown in Bologna. I am very fortunate to be able to spend a full year abroad, and I can’t wait to take you through the French half of my adventures.

I am so excited to start my semester in Paris, but studying abroad for a full semester, or a full year as I am doing, is a daunting experience. I had a beautiful and wonderful time in Italy, but I had my own fears and doubts for the semester. I was scared to leave my father while he was in the hospital, I was scared to be more disconnected from Skidmore than I had ever been before, and I was scared to be completely immersed in Italian, a language that I had only started learning two years ago. These are all legitimate fears that in no way should be dismissed. In fact, living my life abroad in spite of these fears contributed positively to my experience; I believe I’ve become a stronger person because of them.

I have my own fears and doubts about this semester. What if my professors don’t like me? What if my French has gotten irreparably worse after spending the better part of the past six months in Italy? What if my host family won’t be able to understand me? What if I get too homesick to continue? What if Brexit forces me, a British citizen, to leave France because I don’t have a visa? While I, and most of the world don’t have an answer for the Brexit question, I know that no matter what my fears may be towards living in Paris for four months, I can always take comfort in everything that I’m looking forward to.

What am I looking forward to? I have been to Paris many times in my life, but there is always more to discover in the most romantic city in the world. Paris has a classic elegance that draws tourists from all over the world all year to bask in its beauty, and I get to bask in it for four months! One thing that I missed a lot in Bologna was being able to speak French. I’ve studied French for 9.5 years now and I can’t wait to immerse myself in the language in a way that I was unable to do before with my more limited knowledge of French. Many people complain about how difficult french pronunciation is, but I think that French is a beautiful language. I take pride in being a French major, and I look forward to being able to practice my major for four months. Finally, I am looking forward to participating in a Skidmore program. As I mentioned before, I have had little to no contact at all with Skidmore for the past four months. I arrived in Bologna and befriended a bunch of strangers because I was the only Skidmore student on my program. I know that will not be the case this semester. I already know most of the people on my program, and I’m excited to enjoy a certain level of familiarity again,

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you’ll join me again on my journey through next semester.

À la prochaine fois!

-Elizabeth