My time in Marseille is quickly coming to an end. I had my last class last Thursday, and I have a couple of free weeks until my finals the first week of May. Luckily, I only have 2 finals so I’m not too stressed and I have some time to see new parts of Europe. My semester here has been nothing short of incredible. I have immersed myself in different cultures, tried delicious new foods, and met so many amazing people.
Throughout the past few months, I have grown in many different ways. Academically, I have learned valuable organizational skills. Here in France, there are so many things I want to do and see. I have learned to balance projects and schoolwork with different events and activities, and countless planes, trains, and busses. I learned how to better plan ahead and stay on top of my schoolwork without compromising my out-of-class life. This is something I struggle with back home, and it leads to frequent late nights. Professionally, I expanded my network and made valuable connections with people from around the world. Because the program I chose is an exchange program, I am constantly surrounded by people from around the world. One of my main goals in coming here was to make as many connections as possible. My network now includes people from all over the world which I know will help me in the future. The personal growth I’ve experienced this semester is what I’m most proud of. I made a fair share of mistakes being here but I learned a lot from every one of them. I learned more about what I like to do and how I want to live my life moving forward. I also learned to be more responsible and to make better decisions.
My first major takeaway from my program is that I’m still so young and it’s okay if I don’t know exactly what I want to do. During my program, I have tried to travel around Europe as much as possible. I have met people far older than me still trying to figure everything out. One person I met spent 20 years trying out different jobs until finally finding something he truly enjoyed doing. Sometimes I stress about what I’m going to do after graduation but it was nice meeting so many people who didn’t have it all figured out right away. When I’m back at Pitt for my final year, I’ll keep this in mind when I’m choosing classes and making career decisions. My second takeaway from my time in Marseille is that I don’t have to stay up late doing work every night. In Europe, for many, it’s a crime to do work at night, and I realized with a little planning ahead I can get my work done during reasonable hours. My final takeaway is that I absolutely love traveling. I now know I want my first job to include a lot of traveling and I will keep that in mind during my final year of school.