You never know how fast time will pass until it's already happened. And boy, being in a foreign country just makes it seem so much faster.
I knew from the start that my study abroad program would fly by – I am doing a summer program, so I only have had around a month and a half here. In many ways, I feel that even if I had done a full semester, or even a year, I would come out of it still wanting more time.
Being in France feels as though you're plopped down in the middle of a movie set – every piece of art and architecture surrounding you is almost surreal in its beauty. My friends and I would often remark that it almost seems fake, like there's no possible way a city could be as delicately crafted and rich with history. I think being an American, we are used to things that are still so young. While America certainly has some very rich history, the grand civilizations that expanded so rapidly occured mostly on the other side of the world. It all seems so out of place at first: the history is all there, the buildings still standing, so close you can reach out and touch it. I often found myself cutting costs in my food budget in favor of paying the entry fees to any museum I could. And in Paris, even if you feel like you've hit them all, there will always be another one you've missed.
Coming into the last week of my program, I was almost regretful, feeling as though I should have done more. The sheer vastness of experiences and places to attend in Paris is overwhelming, and I've realized now that trying to force them all into a month and a half will only devalue them. When you're abroad, you certainly feel the pressure to constantly go out and do. However, I've realized that in order to experience it to its fullest, you must know when to rest too. But if you must take an afternoon off, take advantage of the outdoors. One of my favorite Parisien experiences is simply lounging by the Seine, consuming Lu cookies and too many baguettes, watching the chic Parisiens and not-so-chic tourists pass by.
No matter what you do, you will feel like you didn't have enough time. Don't take this as a loss – it's simply the push you need to get you back there sooner.