In this week's post, Christopher discusses how he finds time to keep in touch with friends and family while studying abroad, and how he's learned to navigate busy schedules and the time difference between himself and the people back home.
During my time abroad there has been a situation that has been rather complicated to effectively manage. I'm specifically referring to staying in contact with my friends and family back home in the United States. It has been rather difficult trying to coordinate time during the day talk to all my friends and family back home. Between working twenty hours a week at my internship, taking four classes, and having to handle the course load that goes along with them, there already is very little free time during my day. In addition, the five-hour time difference makes it rather difficult to find a specific time in the today to talk. However, when its people you truly care about you go out of your way and make the extra effort.
When it comes to talking to my parents I have stuck to a similar schedule as I would for when I’m away at school. I allocate roughly an hour of my week to both of my parents and will either call or Facetime them individually or together and reconnect. My dad, who is more old-fashioned, prefers that I call him and directly talk over a phone call. We typically discuss the events that have passed in the last week, and my parents will fill me in on how things are at home. When we finish talking I'm usually very happy after catching up with my parents and will text them if I forgot to include anything in our conversation.
My Family Likes to Travel—here we are in Greece!
My relationship when it comes to staying in contact with my friends back at my home university is very much different. As I have a relatively large group of friends I will either individually Facetime them or I will call one of my friends and they will pass the phone around and talk to different people as they are in the room and we will chat and reconnect and let me know how life is on campus is. After we are done chatting I typically feel sad and rather homesick because after exchanging stories with my friends it makes me wish I was back at school.
I've made a lot of friends here in London, but I definitely still miss my friends back home!
Being a young adult who has grown up surrounded with technology it makes my study abroad experience much easier as technology provides many platforms to communicate with people while I’m halfway across the world from them. Daily, I’m in constant contact with my friends and family in the United States via social media and iMessage group chats. When you think about it, it’s a new concept as people like my parents, in the generation before me, have not had this same power to connect with others. I am grateful because my study abroad experience has ultimately allowed me to see things from the other perspective. Being away from my home university has made me appreciate the time I’ve spent both abroad while making me create a certain appreciation for my time at school that is making me super excited for when I return in January!
Christopher's journey continues every Friday so stay tuned.