The Beauty of the Unknown

Esinam G. is currently a junior at SYA France and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from The Madeira School in Virginia.

It is difficult to believe that November has already arrived and with it, orange tinted leaves and the promised rainy Bretagne weather. The Toussaint break was full of bonding moments with my host family and a trip to see the boats covered in sponsor flags as they prepared to embark on the famous route de Rhum.

Up until a week ago, I thought I knew what Rennes had to offer for the most part but I realized that was definitely not true.

The end of the quarter came with a progress report and a wave of assessments and projects due that left me feeling overwhelmed for the first time since I arrived. Feeling a little down knowing my grades were not going to be as high as I would like them to be this quarter, my friends and I made an impromptu decision to go out on a Friday night without having planned any aspect of the night whatsoever.  

We spent the evening walking around Rennes and exploring streets we never knew existed. We made a random left turn on a street that led to a night that became one of my fondest memories yet this year. We stumbled on a part of the city I hadn’t been back to since the first week of SYA. The streets were buzzing with conversation and a certain livelihood which was perfect after the long week we all had. A group of French teens sat on the steps of a building and blasted the biggest hits of the 2000’s. My friends and I started singing along and they noticed that we recognized the song, and increased the volume. Singing quickly turned into some rather tragic dancing as we walked past them. We then came across a little café where we drank hot chocolate and took a dozen polaroid photos. The lack of organization led to an evening filled with hysterical laughter and countless stories shared between us.

For the first time, the trials of the day could not be brushed over by the fairy-tale of spending a year in France. I had been preventing myself from letting the inevitable days, where not everything feels amazing, from passing. I will continue to remind myself about how lucky I am to be here but at the same time, it is absolutely fine to have an off day every once in a while and take the time to do something that makes you feel better. Whether that is carving in some alone time or wandering through the streets of Rennes with a few friends, it is important to find a release for any frustration and sadness. It is easy to keep to the rhythm and routine you will naturally develop but straying off the path isn’t always a bad thing.

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