A New Normal

Annika M. is currently a junior at SYA France and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Hanover High School in New Hampshire.

As I sit here writing this I am also talking to a friend, helping them with Art History homework. I would do this all the time in France, me sitting on one side of a common room table, my friend on the other. Only now, I am talking with this friend through a screen, each sitting at our own desks, separated by 1,000 miles instead of two feet. This is my new normal. 

Almost a month has passed since I’ve sat in the SYA France common room. It was the first room I saw when I entered the school. The last room I saw before I left. It was also the room I sat in when I found out that we were being sent home. As I sat there that last day, I felt every emotion: anxiety, sadness, disappointment, relief, happiness, gratitude. Despite the year being cut short, I couldn’t help but laugh remembering my first day at school, how lost I was. I smiled thinking about my first presentation on the common room stage and how much my French had improved since then. I took a deep breath and got up, absorbing my final moments in the building, the place where I had spent the most time during my all too brief séjour en France.  

Following my goodbyes to the school and my teachers, I went and said goodbye to some of my other favorite places in Rennes. I stopped by Place Hoche, one of the first places I discovered in the city. I stopped by a favorite panini stand, a favorite crêpe stand, savoring the last bites of true French food. I walked by Parliament, remembering the first and last weekends in my favorite city. I finally walked home, stopping outside my front door and realizing that this would be one of the last times I would play my game of guessing which one of my 5 host siblings would be sitting in the kitchen when I walked in. I didn’t want this to be my last time, I didn’t want to say good-bye. 

Eventually the morning of my final day arrived, and I had to say goodbye: to my city, my family, my best friends. I miss them every day, but I know I’ll see them again whether that be in two months, 6 months, or a year. For now, I will focus on my new normal, one that still involves all the aspects of my life in France, just in a new, changed way. 

Merci à toutes et à tous pour la meilleure année de ma vie : vous me manquez tellement!

  • Campus Reporters
  • SYA France
Ha Sido un Placer

In her final blog, Camus Reporter Meredith M. reflects on the letter she wrote to herself at the beginning of her year abroad.

The Revolving Door

In her final blog, Campus reporter Isabelle M. describes her year abroad in France as a revolving door.

Time Travel

Melinda D. reflects on her final weeks abroad and how she and her peers have changed at SYA Spain.

Arrivederci Roma

Campus reporter Camila F. writes about saying goodbye to Rome and shares the music that defined her year abroad.

Thank You

Julia A. expresses her gratitude to her host family, friends, and parents for her time at SYA France.