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Fall, FOMO, and New Friends | Month 1 in Nice

It’s true, I’ll say it, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is as real as ever. I love Colorado but I could not give up the opportunity to study abroad. Just because I am in France having the time of my life does not mean I don’t miss my friends, football, tailgating season, sweater weather, and long pants — especially leggings, even more taboo than pants in France. It may be the end of September and the Patriots may be playing, but it is still far from fall here in Nice. 

Snapchat is the worst, I forgot there was life outside of Nice until the CU Boulder’s biggest football game of the season (nice win, by the way) clogged my social media. It’s practically culture shock not to be hearing about deflate gate, Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury, and the fact that the Patriots are playing the Texans with their third string quarterback this week (ek!). I keep waiting for the temperature to drop and to feel that classic briskness of fall. I am ready to throw on a sweater and some cute boots and head to class. 

Then I remember; there is life after Nice. There is absolutely no reason to rush this amazing time of my life!  After questionably the best 4 months of my life are over, I will be home wearing sweaters and boots and most likely enduring a freezing walk to class. Meanwhile, I am in quite possibly the most beautiful place on Earth. I can wear a sundress everyday and casually stop by the Mediterranean on my sunny walk to and from school. Every other storefront is a place where I can grab a fresh croissant for less than a Euro. Last weekend I hopped on a plane to Barcelona while this weekend I am hoping on a train to the Amalfi Coast! It goes without saying, Nice’s opportunities are endless. 

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Until last weekend’s escapades to Barcelona, I had not even thought about Nice’s advantageous placement of the airport. An international airport lies just a 15 minute bus ride away. How lucky are we?! The funny thing about border hoping this easily is you don’t realize you are headed into a new country and culture. For example, in Italy, I was trying to order a coffee while speaking French. After voicing my request about 3 times, I realized it was not my American accent the waiter did not understand, it was the fact that I was speaking French in an Italian speaking region. I realized my mistake and felt very rude.

By no means am I fluent in French, but I know enough to get by. The language barrier in Spain and Italy is something I gave no previous thought. Suddenly, I’m out with my friends in Barcelona and a nice person speaks to me but I literally cannot respond without an abundance of hand motions that make me seem very American, and completely incompetent. Luckily for me, I loved the girls I went to Barcelona with. We were surrounded by people, but it felt like we were cut off from all communication — good thing we like each other! In Fact, I have never met a nicer group of people than in this program. When I first saw that our program was ONLY 12 people, I seriously stressed out about other students being weird and/or mean. Our program is filled with open-minded, generous, positive, considerate people; of course, we all decided to take the same leap of faith and go to the French Riviera for a semester so I never should have doubted a single person!

FOMO is real, but easily ignored when you're living on the French Rivera, surrounded by amazing people, while jet-setting around the Mediterranean. After all, the great thing about being a Patriots fan is knowing you’ll make the post season and be able to cheer on your team after the new year!!

This weekend I am off to the Amalfi Coast, Bon Voyage!