11. Personal Choice
I have been back in the States for nearly 2 weeks now and for my last blog post, I am going to take some time to reflect on my readjustment back into the fast-paced American lifestyle. Of course, since I spent the last 3 months emerging myself in a completely new culture, living here is much different than it has ever been. Throughout my study abroad experience I learned so many lessons both inside the classroom and out. I know I’ve said this a million times now, but learning history from people who lived through it can really change your outlook on things. Most importantly for me though, it allowed me to open my mind and see things from different perspectives.
Spending time with friends and family, and sharing the wonderful stories of my experience has made it evident that I am not the same person I was before I left. It has been difficult attempting to integrate aspects of culture from the Czech Republic into my lifestyle here, but I know soon enough everything will begin to feel normal again.
Upon arriving at the airport in Minneapolis, I was thrilled to finally be eating the greasy-fried food that I missed while I was away. Despite how unhealthy it is, I generally prefer American food over European food. I also have been taking full advantage of free water, condiments, and public restrooms.
However, there are many aspects of the European lifestyle that I miss. I have found it strange not being able to hop on a tram or in a cheap taxi to get anywhere in the city. I also realized, at some point I became accustomed to the lack of customer service you received at restaurants. Now I find it rather annoying constantly being interrupted while eating and socializing.
In the classroom we learned a lot about European government throughout history. With the presidential elections coming up, I am excited to apply my knowledge of European politics and decide on the candidate I see fit to represent our country (especially since this will be the first election where I will be eligible to vote!)
Studying abroad was the best experience of my life and I learned more than I ever would have thought. I am so thankful for that opportunity, and am thrilled to use my knowledge to create a new lifestyle for myself in the US. I love the Czech Republic and it will forever hold a special place in my heart. I am counting down the days until I can return!