But something I’ve really really had to come to terms with here (courtesy of Allen and some tough conversations with my boyfriend) is that you gotta let people in. Yeah you’re here for 4 months. Yeah you’re probably not gonna see em again. Yeah, making friends is A LOT of work. So what? What are these places if not a culmination of the people you’ve met? When I think back to all the places I’ve been, especially at the beginning of the semester, I literally leave entire countries out cause I forget those places happened. But I don’t forget the conversations I had with Allen in some rinky dink train to who in the world knows where. I don’t remember where I was when Varvie told me that meeting me was fate. But I remember how good it felt to be seen and saved.
Point of this long, messy, extremely embarrassing sharing of personal feelings is that places have barely come to matter. To me at least. But people last. Their memories, their words, their laughter. That stuff lasts. And there’s no point running away from it cause you’re a loser that didn’t have any friends till you were 14. It is okay. Go meet the people, make the friends, go tell those little kids that you’re only here for a week but you’re gonna remember them forever.
I am leaving this city with my heart full of gratitude and more friends than I’ve made in like the past 7 years. Yeah things in this city weren’t always perfect—I mean seriously y’all the education system here is so wack- but who cares. None of that stuff matters. The people do. The good experiences do.
When I first got to Nice, I thought this was going to be like run of the mill, “Oh my god this is so cool I’m in another country, woohoo” kinda experience. And it has been. Europe is so neat. I could probably write a whole blog post of the deep and sincere appreciation I have for public transportation now. As y’all know I am from the great city of Dallas, Texas and the idea of public transportation there is the high speed train that takes you from one terminal to the other in the airport. We don’t have any of the luxuries that Nice or literally any European city does. Anyways yeah. This whole thing was super cool. But it was deeper than that. It was a life lesson. It was growth. It was me clawing my way out of this teeny tiny box labeled, “Everything Aliya Thinks She Knows About How The World Operates.” And it was hard. But I’m standing here able to confidently say that it was so, so worth it.
Four finals and two suitcases y’all. That’s what I need to conquer in these next 7 days. That is all that stands between me and the end of my study abroad experience.
Four finals. Two suitcases.
Thank you Nice. For everything. This is the end of my love letter to this city. To this city’s people. Thank you.
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Hi everyone! Studying abroad in Nice specifically has been a dream of mine since I was a junior in high school.
It's very important to me to write from the perspective of a first gen and low income student. I want to provide y'all with some sense of comfort and togetherness during what might be a super exciting but potentially scary or overwhelming process. I just want my experiences and advice to mean something to students like me.
I hope y'all enjoy the things I share!