If last week we hit our stride, this week announced the start of the full force grind. There is now only one month between us and two weeks of vacation. As the pace began to pick back up at school, I noticed that I have sunk even deeper into the pot of French immersion, starting with a personal resolve to speak nothing but French (at school, at home, and when just out with my friends).
Last Friday, a friend and I, in an attempt to get out despite the never-ending rain, went to the movies. No, I still haven’t seen Frozen, The Wolf of Wall Street or other American box office successes but instead, I lost myself in the world of French fashion with the Yves Saint Laurent movie. Although it was more focused on his escapades, conquests and general debauchery, it was a cute snapshot of the tumultuous life of a man who revolutionized high end women’s fashion, told in non-subtitled French. Woo!
That weekend, my host parents and their friends threw a dance party where I got to help out and, of course, even though it was a British-themed soirée, I spoke French into the wee hours of the morning. The French party hard– over the course of the evening, I became quite adept at popping champagne. My dinner consisted of bread, champagne and of course, dessert. I feel myself becoming French-er by the minute. 🙂
My week of late nights and minimal sleep, key characteristics of procrastination and/or a busy life, continued at the Model United Nations conference, ILYMUN. Ten of my classmates and I ventured to Lyon to discuss various African crises. Although English was the official language, being surrounded with the constant presence of native French speakers, I found I spoke mostly French the whole trip, even to my American classmates. Furthermore, I met the coolest people from all over Europe, through my committee, my amazing Lyonnaise host family and general conference encounters. I now have friends from Lyon, Toulouse, Bulgaria, Spain, Denmark and beyond.
Studying abroad in high school has afforded me all these wonderful opportunities. If I wasn’t studying in France, my movies, and parties would all be in English accompanied by the same lovely people I’ve known since toddler-hood. Sure I would still probably attend MUN conferences, but I wouldn’t have any where near this level of international exposure. This is the real world, outside the comfort of my hometown bubble, where not everyone will agree with you and not everyone will speak your language, but the fun is muddling through this tricky consortium called life, together.