Friday, September 10, 2010

Lesson # 2 - Get there AT LEAST 2 days before you have class

I mentioned how worthless I am when sleep deprived, right? Someone should have impressed upon me how FREAKING IMPORTANT it is to get to Europe 2 or 3 days before you actually have to do crap. I have never been so tired in my life than when I finally got to my dorm in Vichy.

behold, my french dorm

Most of us had been awake literally almost 48 hours, and we were losing it. At around 9 the first night there, I had unpacked most of my things and taken a shower. I tried to pass out on my bed but I was to the point where I was so exhausted that I couldn't fall asleep. So I layed there. For hours. Then I started freaking out because it was so hot in the room. In my delusional state, I finally remembered people in Europe have to sleep with their windows open. Such a foreign concept for most Americans. I have to admit it was kind of lovely feeling the natural air come through the window. After what seemed like a million hours, I drifted off to sleep.

Then my alarm went off at 7 because all the new students had to go take French placement tests. Kill me. Part of that placement test was an interview, in French of course. Some of the group had been there for a couple weeks by that point so they were well adjusted to the time difference. The rest of us jetlagged idiots hadn't even been in Vichy an entire day yet. All I wanted to do was sleep for the next 15 hours but no, I had to try to take a test and babble to French people. The written part of the test wasn't too bad, though I almost fell asleep in it a few times.

The interview...sucked. Words cannot describe just how mentally and physically exhausted I was. I did not possess any ability to have a coherent conversation at that point, especially not in French. I tried for about 30 seconds to speak to the lady interviewing me, and then I just started talking in English. I didn't want to do it - to be that American that doesn't even try. But the whole speaking in a foreign language thing just wasn't going to fly then. Fortunately she was very understanding and didn't think I was being rude, but it was still embarrassing nevertheless.

After everyone was done taking their tests, we were then informed we had to go to class for the next 3 and a half hours.

the building where I had class

Obnoxious. All I could think about was SLEEP!! I decided I probably shouldn't skip my first class though, so I went. Let me just say, people are obsessed with America and they asked me a million questions. One guy even asked why I was so tired. Seriously? Everyone in my class was super nice, but again my sleep deprevation was getting the best of me. It was really hard to try to speak, and to understand the other students because most of them were Korean. It took me a couple days to get used to their accents.

me and a couple of the girls in my class

We had a two hour break for lunch everyday which was fabulous. After class the first day I immediately went back to the dorms and called my mom. I was freaking out and crying on the phone...again due to the lack of sleep. It was 5 in the morning in Oklahoma mind you. I probably cried for about 45 minutes talking to my mom and wondering why in the heck I thought I wanted to study abroad. Mom eventually got me to calm down and convinced me I should skip my second class that day so I could sleep. I got off the phone, kept crying, and passed out on my bed.

That was the most wonderful nap of my life. I didn't wake up til around dinner, and I felt much more mentally stable. All the OU people went out to eat together and I realized I was going to love studying abroad. In the next few weeks they all became like my second family.

Moral: Get there EARLY so you can SLEEP all you want and not act like an irrational weirdo and call crying to your mommy and run up the phone bill.


  1. I haven't traveled much but I was thinking of studying abroad sometime and it's good to know what sort of things I would have to deal with, and your posts are really funny.

    The longest I've ever stayed awake was the weekend I worked Saturday 8 a.m. through Sunday 4 p.m. at Denny's back in highschool. No naps.

  2. P.S. I was reading your profile, and I also dislike Tom Sawyer. It usually confuses English teachers but I just don't think he is that funny. Maybe I don't get it. Maybe I don't like small-town country writing. Or maybe it's because a lot of his characters are obnoxious.

  3. you should definitely do study abroad! it was so much fun! if you ever need help figuring out what program you'd like to do or anything just let me know. i'm glad you like my posts :)

    hahah i'm also glad i'm not the only one who thought Tom Sawyer sucked. i don't know why everyone thinks it's so's just stupid