Going Out = Getting Sick, At Least For Me

Headshot of Lily Nannini.
Lily Nannini
January 31, 2023

Negative experiences truly do make interesting stories. If any of you read my predeperature post, you already know I have the worst track record when it comes to going out. I took my first Covid test Tuesday, January 24th before our program trip. It came back negative. Friday night, I went out to the IES Abroad Pub Mixer and had a great time, I don’t regret my decision to go. I woke up Saturday morning with a scratchy throat, probably from yelling all night, I assumed. Nothing a cup of tea and honey won’t fix–and it did. By the afternoon I felt good as new, if not better. I continue on until Monday, where I take and dropoff another test for our trip to Linz–the one I am most excited for, näturlich, the baking class. Tuesday morning, I wake up earlier than usual to do go through my German flashcards one more time. Upon reading the very first email in my inbox my heart immediately drops. Defeat. A message from Stadt Wien Contact Tracing. I didn’t even have to read the English translation to know. 

“Guten Tag, unter folgendem Link finden Sie wichtige Informationen zu Ihrem Befund.”

“Hello, under the following link you will find important information about your test results.”

Thanks, city of Vienna. 

I just don’t understand why I feel like this always happens to me. I know 10,000 more people that go out every night and party harder than I do and things like this never seem happen to them. I know I can’t compare, and that isn’t a fair judgement. I’m at a fine line between feeling like the universe actually hates me, and I’m just one person on this tiny planet–this could happen to anyone. I saw a mug in a store once, that said, “I’m so naturally funny, because my life is a joke.” I wish I bought that mug. 

Not only have I never had Covid before, but I have Covid at the beginning of my study abroad experience in a foreign country. I’ve never felt more homesick than I do right now. I want my dogs and I want my mom. I wish I could go back to having sick days from school, where I would sit on my couch in a fuzzy blanket and my grandpa would bring me coffee & a donut from the Hole in One. Oh, and I still haven’t got a fuzzy blanket yet. Or hot cocoa mix (does Vienna even have hot cocoa mix??). I knew something was up when I realized I hadn't cried since October. Good thing I bought two boxes of tissues at Billa. 

Lastly, to top it all off, I attempted to fill out the survey link in the email that asked me questions about my symptoms, etc (the usual things), and the website crashed during all three of my pathetic attempts. I simply cannot win.

Maybe it’s a good thing to get it out of the way now? At least I don’t have any symptoms. At least I have more time to work on my other blogs. At least I’m not in any life-threatening danger. Maybe this is life’s way of forcing me to take a step back, slow down, and focus more on self care. Things could always be worse, this is just a little setback.

I can’t help but wonder: is this my final warning? Is the universe telling me I shouldn’t go out anymore? Will I ever listen? Will I ever learn?

Take what you will from this post, I am not trying to discourage anyone from going out and having the time of their lives. Perhaps this is simply not the right lifestyle for me. 

Hopefully this blog is my last of negative experiences, because Wien has so much good to offer. On a few brighter notes, I love my apartment, I’ve made some really awesome friends, and I love my German class. I’ll probably listen to Morgan Wallen’s new songs and plan some trips for when I get out of quarantine (I’m still cringing at the fact that I have to say that). 

I hope everyone stays healthy!

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Headshot of Lily Nannini.

Lily Nannini

Hi! I'm Lily and I'm from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I currently attend Washington and Lee University in Virginia. I'm always down for spontaneous adventures, catching sunrise/sunset, and taking pictures of food:) When I graduate college I want to renovate a van and travel the country, visiting every U.S. National Park as I go. Hopefully I'll have a golden retriever with me too. I love meeting new people and gaining new experiences, so I am extremely excited for this term in Vienna!

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