coming back

Published by Alice C. on 2021-07-08
Hello hello. It's been a while isn't it? Well, I have to tell you a lot of things: I came back from a year abroad. Here in Italy it's very common to go and have a year abroad during the fourth year of high school. Half of my friends went to the US and in Canada and everybody had such a great time that they didn't want to come back at the end of the experience. I had such an experience (even tho I'm a couple of years older hehe) and I just came back.

What I can say from this week and a half that I've been home after ten month in Brussels is that it's tougher than I thought. If you're about to finish too don't worry, we'll get through this. In order to help you, here are some things you need to be prepared for when you step down your plane.

First of all, parents are still parents. I know that during this time away from them they may have seemed chiller to you. That's just because they didn't have the possibility to know exactly and always what you did and where you were. Since they can't physically check they have to calm down while you're abroad. Once you're back, they are going to start to worry again. For somebody who's returning from an experience where, willingly or not, they had to become more independent, worried parents aren't the best welcome. If this is your case, try to talk to them and let them see that you've changed and grown. It's true that they'll always care for you but they'll realise that you can make it on your own and after a while they'll start to be more chill about things.
Friends will ask you the hateful question: "So, how was it?". I know it's not their fault but I am so uncomfortable with this because I never know what to reply. It wasn't a one week vacation at the seaside, but a full and changing experience. Probably so many things happened that you wouldn't even know where to begin. When in this situation you have two options. If you're with close friends it is super easy, just ask them to ask something more specific, about what they were curious about. It's not an effort for them and you'll have a point to start. If you're at a family dinner or with your sister's partner, you can prepare in advance a topic from where to start.
Be prepared of taking a step back. A year abroad changes you, your tastes and in some case even the way you think. By coming back, you're forced to be put in a context which might not be yours anymore. There is the possibility that you won't share the same interests with some of your friends or that you will like different things now. This is scary-good. It's ok to feel this way but what you have to think is that you're moving forward and in doing so you won't be trapped in the same situation you were in when you left.

Of course there are a thousand positive things in coming back home, I just listed the things you might get through. If you have other things to add, don't hesitate to write to us.

Illustrations by Nina
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teenagers
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