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Bonjur From Paris Part 2: Surviving “Adulthood” While Overseas

Photo Contributed By: Madison Williams

Hello again, Tigers, 

I’m back in Paris after a long weekend to Ireland, and I actually have to do some studying this week. Ireland was great, actually much better than I expected it to be. In some ways, almost anything that could have gone wrong did, but it was such an adventure. 

I can’t help but feel like I’ve grown up more in the 40 days here than I have in the last few years. Sure, going to a school on the other side of the state was a big adjustment and made me grow up some, but even in Clemson I’m somewhere in between a teenager without a lot of responsibilities and being an adult with rent, bills, school and a job. 

Here, I’m living off of my savings with no income like I’ve been used to for the last several years. I’m far away from my family, having to keep track of my money even more carefully. I’m planning trips around Europe which is pretty glamorous. What I didn’t expect is for it to be as nerve-wracking and stressful as it is. 

Being here in Paris, though, is starting to make me get a better grasp and understanding of the idea and meaning of really being an adult. 

Yes, I am 21. I am a little over the age where I’m only legally an adult with “teen” stamped on the end of my age. I can legally buy alcohol in the U.S., I can sign a lease, I have a job, I pay taxes and I do take care of myself. 

In the last week, I’ve rented a car and taken a road trip literally across a foreign country, went the better part of four days without Wi-Fi, gotten lost several times, stayed in a cottage without “adult” supervision (I say that because I still have a hard time admitting that I and the people I’m with are actually not children anymore). I also spent a good hour thinking I missed my flight when the only flight back to Paris that night was full and I had an 8 a.m. class the

next morning. 

Since being back, I’ve booked some trains and buses to and from a few different places and lodgings because I have a break at the end of the month. I’m definitely ready for all the planning for the break to be done, because it’s really stressful figuring out all of these logistics. I’m definitely not complaining, but it has without a doubt been a growing experience having to be this responsible for myself. I’m so used to going on trips where the adults do all the planning, and I just pay and show up. I never realized how much work went into all of these trips. 

I guess what I will end with for now is just a reminder that we all need at one point or another to slow down and enjoy the place we are in in our lives. 

A lot of times we are so focused on the classes we want to take next semester, or the job we want to get after we graduate or the graduate school that we want to get into that we forget to enjoy where we are. 

College really is an amazing time in life. We as college students are stuck in a very “in between” place. We’re in between home and being on our own, in between being a teenager and adulthood, and in between a school schedule with all of its breaks and careers with no summer vacations. It can be annoying and stressful and scary, but it is our last chance to enjoy a little bit of having the best of both worlds. 

Till next time, Tigers. 



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