Annika J. is currently a junior at SYA France and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Lakeside School in Washington.
March 16th, 2022. That’s the date my English teacher wrote on the board yesterday. As I read that date, I was shocked. How are we already halfway through the month of March? In one sense it feels as though I’ve just arrived in Rennes and I still have so much to do and see before leaving France. On the other hand, I feel as if Rennes is my authentic home and I can’t imagine leaving it behind. The time has just flown by and I simply do not understand how I only have two months left.
Looking back on my whole experience, there are undoubtedly things I wish I had done differently. I wish I had taken a step back from my academics when I could have spent more time with my host family and friends. I wish I had taken advantage of more independent travel opportunities. I wish I had connected with some of my friends earlier on in the year. I wish I had tried champignon oeuf galettes in the fall. I wish I had gone to the Marche de Noel more than once. I wish I could go back in time and do all of these things but, unfortunately, I can’t. At this point in my experience, I have to stop looking back on what I wish I had done differently but rather look forward to what’s next and truly decide to finish my year in France with no regrets.
While two months feel minuscule, like I have barely any time left, there are still so many things I’m looking forward to in the packed two months I have left abroad. I’m looking forward to our school trip to Marseille in April, which I’m following with a trip to Corsica with some friends. I’m looking forward to my capstone project, an independent place-based research project for which I’m studying the impact of Brittany’s meat industry on the environment. I’m looking forward to more Saturday walks in the city with my friends. I’m looking forward to more dinners with my host mom where we discuss politics and travel plans. I’m looking forward to warm spring weather which will bring picnics in Parc du Thabor.
Even with much planned out for the next few months, I have made some personal goals for myself as well. I want to bake my host mom carrot cake because it’s her favorite American dish that she’s never been able to recreate. I want to eat at Creperie St George, Rennes’ Michelin Star restaurant with innovative crepes and galettes. I want to take a bus route that I’ve never taken before in Rennes and explore a new part of town. I want to continue to do well in my academic courses and learn the most French I possibly can before returning home. I want to take the extra fifteen minutes to walk to school instead of lazily taking the bus. I want to go to Saint-Malo, the beach town about an hour and a half away from Rennes that I’ve simply never had the chance to see. For the next 70 days of my life, I’m determined to make the most of my experience and have absolutely no regrets.
Future SYA students, I encourage each of you to make the most of your time starting in September. The year will truly fly by and you won’t want to leave with any regrets. I am grateful for the two months I have left though I still wish I had more time. Rennes is now my home away from home and I can’t imagine leaving.
- Campus Reporters
- SYA France