Presents and Packing: Holiday Season Edition

Zoey Tyson-Taylor
December 14, 2021
La Seine at night with beautiful lights

As we wind down to the end of the semester with finals around the corner, I have this strong urge to buy mountains of presents for my family and friends. Especially with the many Christmas markets in Paris and thousands of potential Christmas presents to go home with. All of that sounds good until I have to start packing. This week is not only the week of finals, but I have to start packing as well. I guess we just have to do one thing at a time.

When you’re trying to find presents for your family members, the hard part is finding things that they may like. Don’t get me wrong they’ll probably be excited about the fact that you found them a great present in a foreign country. Except that, if it’s not their preferred gift. Sometimes you just might as well leave it behind. With friends, it can be the same ordeal. Not saying you shouldn’t find gifts for family or friends, but somehow, it’s harder. On the flip side, it can be awesome to find presents during this time of year. A lot of stores and shops have sales going on and many options of gift ideas. Especially with Black Friday sales that happened in the last week of November. Many probably found their gifts during that time. Finding gifts during the holidays can be a stressful thing, especially when you’re studying abroad. Not only do you have to find presents for family and friends, but you have to find a way to bring them home.

Before studying abroad, I thought packing my life away for 3-4 months was going to be hard. I was wrong. It’s way harder to pack and do your finals in the same week. Nobody said life was going to be easy, but a heads-up would have been nice. The thing about packing is that you have to remember how you packed your life away in the first place. Then you have to make sure all of your things fit into the suitcases you brought. Hopefully, you don’t have to buy another suitcase or pay overweight fees when checking your baggage. Sadly, that is not always the case. I even had to throw away some clothing that got damaged during my time studying abroad and it did help with having extra room in my suitcases. Although, it did not keep me from grieving.

Even though, the stresses of packing and finding presents during the holiday season have me stressed. I am still reminiscing the good times that I’ve had in Paris. I have a few days left to see the sights, study for finals, pack, and look for last-minute gifts. I am thankful for the time I’ve had here, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The excitement of seeing friends and family back home has me excited but also missing this place at the same time. This week I will be going back to my favorite place and soaking in the peace that I felt. Days turning into hours. Hours turning into minutes. Minutes turning into seconds. I don’t have long before I go; and the time that I have left, I’ll spend with my friends.

Zoey Tyson-Taylor

<p>Bonjour Mes Amies! My name is Zoey Tyson-Taylor and I’m a senior studying at Hollins University, majoring in Business and History. Don’t worry, I know it’s a weird combo! I am studying abroad in Paris this Fall of 2021. I am so excited to be sharing my journey with you all! My favorite things are my family, language learning, and good food. But my one true love is ice cream…</p>

2021 Fall
Home University:
Hollins University
Williamsburg, VA
International Business
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