Happy New Year! As of today, I have officially been home for 2 weeks. Quite honestly, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind seeing family and friends, celebrating the holidays, running around preparing for next semester, etcetera. I feel like I just got home yesterday and now I’m less than a week away from moving back into Rollins.
My family surprised me at the airport with a cute sign, balloons, and flowers (a little over the top but that’s my family, what can I say?). Since then, I’ve tried to spend as much time with the people I have back home since my break is even shorter than usual because my program ended about a week after it would have had I been at Rollins this semester.
Surprisingly, the reverse culture shock wasn’t as bad as it was made out to be. The only “problem” that I’ve had so far – if you can call it that – was dealing with a check at dinner. The money obviously wasn’t hard to go back to, but the tipping was. I almost forgot that service charges aren’t included in the bills here and tipping is expected. I guess I got too used to the good life of knowing how much my total bill would be from the time I ordered. Other than that, I haven’t really noticed any other problems. I guess that might change when I get back to school, especially since I only had classes two days a week this past semester and now I’m going back to every weekday. To be honest, I’m kind of happy about that. I loved having classes only two days a week at first, because it gave me more time to chill or adventure, but towards the end, it only gave me more of a chance to get bored and homesick. I’ve never experienced that feeling at Rollins. That can only be chalked up to the cliché: “Rollins is my second home” which sounds really lame, but is nonetheless true.
Also, if I’m being 100% honest in this final post, I have to really emphasize on how spoiled we are at Rollins. I loved the study abroad experience, but there were a lot of differences between campus life here and there. First of all, there were no common rooms. Each flat had about 8-10 rooms and a shared kitchen that I guess was supposed to function as a “common room,” but you could only hang out with people in your flat unless you unlocked the door for people living outside your flat. It wasn’t hard to meet other people, but a kitchen isn’t the most comfortable place to hang out anyway, especially if you live with people who don’t clean up after cooking. The food was also majorly inferior to the food at Rollins. I know we all like to complain about Sodexo at times, but it doesn’t even compare in the slightest to the high school cafeteria food served at the campus I studied at this past semester. All in all, I’m very excited to come back to Rollins and to be able to share my experience with my friends and other students looking to study abroad in the future!