So, classes have officially begun and the stress and lack of time is getting real! Well not really, it’s more like the amount of clubs and activities you want to enjoy that gets to you.
You obviously want to pass your classes no matter what, but you are also in a new location. This may sound counterproductive to the whole “study” aspect of “study abroad,” but it’s the truth. So hear me out. Join as many clubs as possible and go sightseeing as well!
This is not to say “don’t study,” however. Attend ALL of your classes, but plan accordingly to make sure you’re able to enjoy the year to the best of your ability. It’s tough, I know. Also, on top of that, if you’re taking a language extensive course, then it will really be tough – no late nights for you. (at least that’s my case.)
Don’t get discouraged though, because there will be chances for you to take mini-vacations around the country you are in. Utilize and stay on top of when these breaks occur. The first one for me is about to pass, and It’s too late – all the tickets to anywhere are all overpriced and unaffordable. If you do plan however, like I should have – and have a few extra dollars in your bank account thanks to your savings and aid from the GILLMAN – you can see a little bit more of your host country. Don’t let this opportunity slip away.
Also, JOIN CLUBS!
Just do it smart, and make sure they fit within your schedule.
When activities and clubs came rolling into my lap, I really wanted to have an experience I never had in high school where I was a part of something bigger, so I really went all out. I signed up for every club I wanted to: self-defense (twice), singing, dancing, kendo, etc. Somehow, I thought stockpiling numerous clubs was fantastic idea (which it is for some people), but soon realized that I needed some time to sleep. Clubs in a different country are the perfect opportunity to get to know some of the native students at your abroad university, and a fantastic chance to try something entirely new. Like for me, I’m taking Kendo. Not once in a million years did I think I would do Kendo, but now it’s my reality, and I’m in love!
If you go to Japan, make sure the club you join is something you really want to do though, or just join a “circle” instead. Circles are more unofficial and are not as strict with scheduling. Traditional Japanese clubs take a lot of time and effort, and depending on how famous it is, the schedules can be strict, but rewarding.
So, once again, make sure to leave enough time in your busy schedule to join at least one or two clubs – you’ll thank me later.