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How Jet Lag Changed How I Value My Time

Jan 23, 2020 9:15:00 AM / by Will Baldwin

CAPA blogger Will has just arrived in London, and she is making the most of her first few days despite battling jet lag. Check out her debut blog post to find out how jet lag has changed how she values her time to see what she's been up to so far!

There is a six hour difference between Minneapolis and London, and let me tell yah, it is rough to adjust to. I have spent my first few couple nights waiting until 4 am to feel even the slightest bit sleepy. 

But, last night while I was restlessly messaging my friend back home, my perspective changed. I asked what time it was there, and he said 8pm (it was 2am in London). Somehow, my first thought was “Oh! That’s not too much of a difference”— perhaps because it was considered nighttime in both cities, it didn’t seem so far apart to me.

My second thought was, “wait… that’s 6 whole hours”. 

Back in Minneapolis I rarely went back out after coming home in the evening. If I settled at home, then I was done for the day. Usually I would change into pajamas, eat some dinner, and put something on the TV. To me, 8pm and 2am weren’t that different, because more often than not I was doing the same thing at either of those times. 

“What a waste,” I thought. 

These past couple days I have walked miles, seen world famous architecture, met dozens of incredible people, eaten amazing food, gone through two days of orientation, and so so much more.

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I have the energy to do all this. I am satisfied at the end of every day. It almost feels like I’ve accomplished something for having stayed outside my home for so long. 8pm doesn’t mean my day is completely over. It means it’s time to catch up with roommates, go out with friends, go on a stroll, or grab late dinner somewhere I haven’t tried before.

I don’t have to stay out until 2am— in fact, I shouldn’t. When I get home from school at 4pm, however, I shouldn’t let myself treat that like the end of my day. I should think about the hours I have left, and how I can make the most of them— even if some days “making the most out of them” means resting.

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When you are studying abroad, there is a lot of pressure to do everything you can possibly fit into your few months. It can be overwhelming, but it can also show you how much you are capable of doing. It can show you how you could spend your time when you return home. 

Jet lag is definitely the worst part about traveling, but this time it helped me cherish the time I have left in the day to do anything I want to do. More often than not, I wasted the last half of my day by not seeing worth in all the time I still had after my obligations (work, school, etc.).

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Study abroad is keeping me busy, but I am proud of myself at the end of every day for how much I can say I did.

Thanks, Will!

Makenna Sturgeon

 

Will Baldwin is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2020, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Technical Writing and Communications and Political Science major at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, she is studying abroad in London this semester.

Will's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA London Program

Topics: London, England, Why Study Abroad