First Blog of the Semester!!

Written by Serena Khan

It has been a season of new beginnings for me, and little did I know, another one would be just around the corner.

This semester marked a significant new beginning for me as I had just transferred to Georgia Tech. It was a challenge adjusting to a new school, new faces, and a different academic landscape after two years at another college, but it was also an opportunity to grow and adapt. However, another new chapter awaited me in France.

I’ve always romanticized studying abroad and everything about Europe, but I was quickly met with a reality check. My first few weeks in Metz were not without their challenges.

The extreme weather in Metz was definitely unforeseen. I’m usually accustomed to Georgia’s bipolar weather that bounces back and forth between temperatures of all four seasons in just the short span of one week. I found myself in a constant state of the coldest weather I had ever experienced during my first two weeks here. This unanticipated cold, combined with a sense of overwhelming nerves and homesickness, led me to miss orientation, and it was just a mere one-minute Uber ride away, which I hadn’t realized. The gray, depressing atmosphere of the area around our dorm and campus initially dampened my spirits, and I just wanted to be in the comfort of my room back home.

Although the start of this trip abroad was intimidating and honestly anxiety-ridden, I began making friends and exploring beyond the campus. Things started to look up. Even though I knew my study abroad would eventually turn out to be everything I imagined and more, I needed a sign of hope that would erase the negative feelings. My first night exploring Metz with a group of people I had just met turned out to be that sign. It was the first time it actually hit me that I was in Europe. Taking in all the intricacies of the architecture, the lively streets, and just navigating through a new city without any familiarities was a surreal feeling. For the first time, I am managing all aspects of travel planning without my parents, who always organized every detail of our family trips. This independence is both new and intimidating, but it’s a challenge I’m learning to embrace.

Now, here’s the pièce de résistance: I have an extra-special reason to be excited to be here. My 14-year-old brother, a budding soccer star, is on the path to making his dreams come true, as he takes his first steps towards greatness playing for the Ja Drancy soccer club in France. From January to June, you’ll find me cheering on the sidelines, with all the enthusiasm of a proud sibling. It’s more than just a soccer game; it’s a testament to diligence, hard work, and chasing after your dreams.

The main factor that influenced my decision to study in Metz is the proximity to my dad and brother living in Drancy. Having the chance to be there for my brother’s soccer journey is something that fills me with so much joy and pride.

But what I’m anticipating the most is traveling across Europe with my newfound friends. As I travel from country to country via train, I welcome every hurdle and obstacle with open arms. Italy, Spain, Prague, and more await me, each with its own unique charm and stories to be uncovered. These trips will broaden my lens on the world, offering me fresh perspectives and a chance to create unforgettable memories.

So, here’s to embracing the adventure, to campus life in Metz, to experiencing the true essence of France, to cheering on my little brother as he chases his dreams, and to welcoming these new beginnings with open arms. Together, we’ll explore the heart of Europe, one train ride at a time, and create a unique blend of stories and experiences to cherish forever.