Spring Forward

Isabelle M. is currently a junior at SYA France and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Wilmington Friends School in Delaware.

It is light out when I walk to my bus stop in the mornings now. I don't wear a coat to school everyday anymore. The birds sing their songs in the sunlight and the warmth–so long forgotten as the winter winds had held their grip on us for so long–envelopes the pedestrians in the overwhelming feeling of safety and comfort as they make the first stage of their morning commute on foot. Brightly colored bulbs poke up from the grass and the trees in the school's courtyard rain purple petals on our heads. Strawberries are finally in season again, replacing Haribo's in the routine Carrefour run. They’re sweet and taste like summer. 

In about a week, we will all lose an hour of sleep as the time springs forward. It’s oddly fitting. Ever since winter vacation, time has passed so quickly it’s felt as if we were skipping an hour every day. Now, we actually will, and I'm not happy about it. If my séjour in France has taught me anything up to this point, it's that every moment is precious, and the fact that these moments are in limited supply– well. 

It is very easy to get lost in the frustration that comes with the acknowledgement of the fact that time will not stop just because I want it to. When the teachers began discussing “re-entry,” or rather, our eventual and inevitable return to the United States, the waves of stress radiating off the student body were palpable. With the realization that one’s time in a place is stamped with a readily-approaching expiration date comes fear, doubt, and sometimes, regret. 

Did I take advantage of the opportunities I have been given here? Has my French improved to the level I had hoped and expected? I should have done more, should have procrastinated less, should have, should have, should have.

I'll be honest: these doubts and regrets are not entirely misplaced. There are definitely things I could have done better in my time here–but that's the point. SYA is a learning experience, and not just because it's a school. I've made mistakes, but I’ve learned, I’ve grown, and I’ve had fun. Now, eyeing the steadily approaching date of May 26th on my calendar, I still feel like my time here is coming to an end far too soon, but I’ll do my best to relish in the moments that remain. One day at a time, walking to school in the light of the already-risen spring sun, among birdsong, and surrounded by freshly sprouted flowers. I'll treasure the newly-in-season strawberries, because, like my time here, they won't be around for the whole remainder of the year, but that doesn't make them any less sweet in the moment.

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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.

Four people stand in a line smiling at the camera amongst a row of trees.

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.