“Are you happy?”

All throughout winter break and to this day the first couple of questions that people ask me when they see me for the first time since I left are, “How’s France? and “Don’t you just love it?” So of course every time I was asked it got me thinking. In fact, today alone two people asked me if I was happier in France or when I was home and it made me realize that I am way happier when I am home. I even realized that I’m not really super happy when I am in France yet. I’m pretty sure it’s because I have my routine at home. I have my family, my close friends and everything that I’ve grown up with pretty much all of my life. In France I don’t really have any of that yet.

Before moving, I was miserable at home. I felt stuck. I felt like I had done everything in Torrance and that I just needed to get out and see the world. I thought there would be more ups than downs and that right when I got there I’d be free and happy. But moving there has made me realize how good I had it at home (like everyone says)… I knew that it would at least be hard for the first 3 months and that after that things would go back to how they were at home. Meaning I would have good friends and feel comfortable with my living situation and all. But it did not. Sure it got easier after the 3 months. I do have friends, I can understand the language better and I sort of have a schedule that I follow but it really isn’t the same as how it was. I mean it makes sense. The motivation to do the things I used to do just wasn’t there anymore and the culture was so different so I felt almost as if I had to change who I was to fit in. I don’t know why I believed that I would be fully comfortable after only 3 months but that’s what I thought. Truth be told (as it probably is for many of my high school peers) moving to college was a LOT harder than I thought. I had to learn a ton of stuff that I thought would be easy or I already knew how to do like cook and shop at the grocery store. Now when I go to the grocery store I end up staying for like an hour or two trying to figure out what I need to make meals and be healthy… It’s wayyy harder than it sounds. I also don’t love my school which is one of the biggest reasons I went to France. I went to France to study business, but the mindset of business school in France is kind of like it’s easy and you’re pretty much just paying for your degree. I was finally excited to learn something that I was actually interested in and now I spent the last 4 months not learning much. It’s a shame and also leads to me lacking motivation once again.

Today my best friend from France texted me and said that he loved watching my Snapchat stories because I look happier at home than I ever looked in France. That comment made me realize that I am and that I need to figure out how to be this happy when I go back there. I need to find my mojo or the next 4 years are going to be really hard. Hoping that it’s because of the culture shock and that it will pass with time, as I’m sure it is. Man moving to another country is hard!

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