What’s Life Like Now That I’m Back?

What a beautiful day for a snow day Daizies!

I’ve always dreamed of a day between Sunday and Monday where I could just and my dream came true today! Hoping for a day off shows just how drastically different things have been since coming home. Compared to my 4 months abroad, it is a more intense workload filled with a packed schedule that used to consist of traveling most weekends with school for just a few hours.

Missing the Days of Getting Out of Bed Only for Gelato!

I forgot how hectic school life can be. I have actual weekly assignments, labs, work, ongoing internship search, and midterms to prepare for. With so many responsibilities, I find myself on campus for an average of 8-11 hours per day for 4 out 0f the 5 days per week. Getting back to this routine made me miss being abroad so much. I knew when I was there, that it would be the most stress-free semester ever. I could not open a textbook for 2 weeks and still not fall behind. Can you imagine having no stress for 4 months? I had time. Every hour of my day didn’t need to be organized and planned. At Bocconi University, I had one class each day from Tuesday through Thursday. In total I was on campus for about 7 hours each week. Now, I am on campus 6 times as much.

I miss planning my next weekend expedition. After a week in Milan, it was off to the next place. My weekly tasks consisted of booking hostels, Airbnb’s, writing down directions of getting to and from airports, and planning my day in either Barcelona, Athens, Rome and other amazing places! I miss having an abundance of time and being stress-free.

Dealing With Stress

With time, I have accepted the fact that I have to stay ahead so that I won’t fall behind. Whether, I’m ready for the full workload here or not, I must do the absolute most with studying for certain classes. I am making the effort to read chapters before lectures, go to tutoring for Operations Management, and do the best I can academically. Stress is a natural thing and I realize I am more vulnerable to it when I feel I don’t have enough time to finish what I need or even relax. It can arise from feeling anxious about interviews, graduating, and deciding on a career path. 4 months away from having to encounter such demands was a break well needed. I use the experience of overcoming the anxiety of leaving to go abroad to calm myself down when I’m feeling anxious about future interviews, tests, etc. I recently thought to myself “Is this the hardest thing you’ve done?” If the answer is “no”, then I can get through this next task as well. Leaving on the exchange was the scariest thing I’ve done so far and I use that accomplishment of my fears to find strength that I will make it through whatever is next. Also, taking deep breaths are very effective at all times of the day.

Continuing With Healthy Habits?

Getting exercise and eating a balanced diet have also helped me in transitioning to a healthier lifestyle. I noticed that I never once got sick when I was abroad. Normally, I would get a cold every quarter, especially during midterms and finals. Your body is more susceptible to colds and other viruses when you are stressed, not getting enough sleep, or enough nutrition. I knew this was especially true when I found myself with a cold(and later a fever) literally one week into school. I really hate being sick and need as much energy as I can get. I now take daily multi-vitamins to help boost my immune system. I talked about how great grocery shopping was and how healthy I ate in Italy. I can proudly say I haven’t eaten a frozen meal or cup-of-noodles since I’ve been back and don’t plan on it either! I relied heavily on TV dinners, microwavable lunches, pop-tarts, fast food fruit snacks, and cup-of-noodles as my main source of food throughout my college life prior to the exchange. But since I couldn’t find these foods at grocery stores in Italy, my diet changed and I began to eat more meals that I had to prepare and less sugary foods. With this new habit, I don’t crave sweets as much and usually eat fruit as a snack. I tried eating KFC when I got back and couldn’t even finish my plate. I used to be able to eat 5+ chocolate chip cookies at a time, and now it doesn’t taste as good or pleasurable as it used to. It gets hard sometimes to make dinner after a long day and on these occasions I end up ordering Jimmy Johns!

I often would jog around the park behind the dorm when I was in Milan. I continue this now that I am in Seattle when the weather isn’t too rainy. Going to the gym is a lot harder than I expected but I do enjoy a brisk walk every now and then. I still do yoga every morning which is something I’ve been doing for the past 11 years!

Can’t Stay Still!

Once the travel bug hits you it is hard to stay in one place for too long. Studying abroad has been an exciting part of my college experience. While I have only a few quarters left of college, I hope to study abroad again this summer on a 4 week exploration seminar. In the very near future, I am excited to go to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for Spring Break wooohooo!!! I enjoy traveling so I want to do it as much as I can. Seeing new places and cultures brings so much joy and memories forever.

Thrive.

I am officially back and on the grind. I want to not simply make it through each day but I want to thrive while doing so. I believe positive affirmations each day will help me to have the mindset to make the most each day. I put post-it notes next to my bed with positive notes written on them. It’s great to remind myself “I am successful” ” Good news is coming soon” or “Do not worry” throughout the day. I also am setting out personal time for myself each day.It’s important for me to find time to destress and have self-care. It’s okay to take a nap, indulge in your favorite tv show, and get sleep!

It’s great being home with friends and family as well as having access to amazing sandwiches each day. Adjusting to the hustle and bustle of reality was a challenge, but I with God’s help I am making it just fine. I hope to enjoy the little things of life each day no matter how busy life may be.

Advertisements

Journey to Italy|First Day Nervousness and Excitement

I am here!!!!!!!!!

After months of thinking about this day, I am finally here in Milan. I am currently wide awake and flipping through multiple tabs on my computer. It is nearly 3 am lol! I took a long 7 1/2 hour “nap” after arriving to my dorm. I was feeling very exhausted, physically and mentally overwhelmed from the basically 24 hour travelling and emotional departure leaving home. I have pretty much been in my room ever since arriving. Unpacked most things and made lots of phone calls to keep myself company. I am looking forward to starting my journey tomorrow as I will be making my way to the school to pick up my student ID and register for some walking tours. I am just ready to have fun already and have friends. I need to be patient, clearly, considering I literally just arrived. I just want to be acclimated and used to everything already. I remember feeling this way on the first night I arrived to London. I was so ready to have the fun everyone said I would have. Ready to experience what I was hoping for and to have fun people to make memories with. Well it’s the same right now. There isn’t much to do on the first night when it’s literally the middle of the night and I haven’t been around many students to even initiate friendships, and that’s okay. The right people will come.

Anyways, McDonald’s is truly on my mind. I can only imagine how fancy it must taste in Milan haha. I am so glad I brought a bag of snacks filled with bagels, jello cups, pop-tarts, fruit snacks, and an apple. Those snacks really came in handy during the plane ride and now seeing as how I was too tired to find a grocery store here. I was very delighted that my airline provided dinner AND breakfast. I was like “look at God!”. I had a more pleasant experience flying this long journey. Last year I felt dizzy and a little nauseated by the flying motion and the flight just seem EXTREMELY long. This time around I at least slept 2-3 hours on each flight. I had the chance to watch The Intern, a few episodes of Fresh Prince, and Person of Interest. I then listened to some podcasts, The Read and Another Round, to make me laugh and keep me in good spirits.

I know these last couple of days have been very exhausting for me. I cried so many times just preparing to leave. It’s scary leaving home and going all the way across the world. Will I have fun? Will I be homesick too much?  Will living in the dorm be a hassle or should I have just gotten an apartment? Is this still a good decision?  I can’t speak Italian lol how will I get by?  Will I make friends I can be myself with? These are all things that were and still are running through my mind. I literally don’t know the answer to these things which is why I want to be adjusted already and find out the answers lol. I’m trying my best to just relax and take things one day at a time. I will look back at this like haha why in the world was I so worried? It was starting to feel like my fears and anxiety were taking over the more I thought about how this is the boldest move I’ve ever made. But I overcame it. I may have cried and did a lot of overthinking, but at the end of the day I got my butt on that plane and I’m here right now. It’s okay to feel nervous. I know how I am and I am still learning how to not worry and to tend to my own emotions when I am feeling anxious about something.

I discovered my favorite scripture about 5 years ago when I was a freshman in high school. I was worried about something and came across Matthew 6:34 which says “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. That whole chapter describes how much God cares about even the birds in the air and how those birds ain’t worried about a thing so why should I? Worrying doesn’t add a single hour to my life. So after I’m done worrying… the situation is literally still there but only hours of stress have passed. Then in the end, it’s like all taken care of. I’m gonna have to go reread that chapter honestly. It’s good to just reread things and get it through my head again. Thinking back to times like this when I didn’t know the future but it felt like a really huge deal. Getting into UW, leaving home for college, whether I would pass ECON 200, leaving the country for the first time to the UK,  and the entire admissions process to the Foster School. Each different experiences that required acknowledging my fears and putting my trust in the Lord. Looking at each thing I typed out and being on the other side of those events, everything turned out okay. The same feelings were behind them whether it was just feeling overwhelmed, anxious, helpless, stressed, or like it was the most important decision in the world. I got accepted to UW which was my top choice, I ended up really enjoying being in college and living in Seattle. I know I barely passed ECON 200 with an acceptable grade and was looking at about 4 back-up majors once I saw my grade, but with even that I was accepted into business school. Look at God! No seriously, look at him. And we all know how much I loved London so that’s self explanatory lol. This is a brand new experience and I know it will turn out great just like the rest of the things I was excited or nervous about.

This post is longer than I expected but it was a good chance for me to get everything written out and release the rest of my worries. I freed up some space on my phone so I can take some fire pictures tomorrow. I recorded my travels through airports and will make it into a travel vlog soon. I also have a DIY honey and olive oil deep conditioning video I plan on uploading to Youtube. Don’t worry, I will still keep my Youtube videos coming!

Time to walk in my destiny! I’m putting into the atmosphere that this will be one of the best experiences of my life. I will learn more about myself and grow tremendously as a person. I attract great people and form amazing friendships. I will remain safe and healthy throughout this entire trip. I will laugh, not worry, dance, eat, save money and have the time of my life!

Taking it step by step and Dai by Dai 😉