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Small Victories

November 22, 2016
by Kayla King
When you embark on your journey abroad, you're actually taking a huge step. Sadly, it's really not going to be all sunshine and macarons. At one point, you might even be completely overwhelmed, homesick, or just simply lost. No, it's not just you - these are struggles that most people encounter when they decide to live in a new country.
 A wall in the catacombs of Paris

The thing is, there are a lot of things that make up a single country: the culture, the language, the people, and even the environment - everything will be completely different from what you're accustomed to. It's hard, but it's definitely necessary to understand that these things simply take time.
 Parisian Streets

Sometimes, you just need to take a breather and realize that the people speed-walking up and down the streets around you in the chilly, wintery air of Paris, France, have been doing this for quite awhile. They've probably lived here for years, received their education, and moved on to get a job, whereas you're new and inexperienced.

That's why no one expects perfection. The rumors that the French are inherently rude and snobby? They're just that: rumors. As long as you put in the effort to get accustomed to France, they recognize that and will not hesitate to help you out. I can't count how many times I've been wandering around, lost, when a friendly Parisian stopped and asked me if I needed any help finding directions.

 A metro stop in Paris

Throughout your struggles, it's important to focus on the positive. That first time you successfully get from point A to point B using the metro system, the time when you ordered lunch successfully in French without any confusion, and even that time when you cooked your own meal using ingredients and condiments you're not familiar with - cherish those small victories!
 Gelato from Amorino - Don't forget to treat yourself!

Because, when you count up all of those small victories, you'll find that you've achieved the greatest victory of them all: successfully completing your semester abroad. You did it!

Kayla K. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in Paris, France. She is currently a sophomore studying Business Administration, Criminal Justice, and Pre-Law at Point Loma Nazarene University. 

Kayla King is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France, and is currently studying at Point Loma Nazarene University.
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