All of a sudden, the weather changed. On Thursday my summer clothes were comfortable, but on Friday my skirt sent me speed walking home to get out of le mistral, a freezing wind that blows for a few days at a time and then moves on.
It's about midterm time. I'll be doing a lot of writing this week and studying next week, but at the end of all the essays and tests is Fall Break! Our flights and hostels for Barcelona and Belgium are booked so all that stands between us and our vacation-within-a-vacation (I mean school?) are midterms.
Planning ahead to figure out how to get all my studying and writing done in a reasonable amount of time so that I don’t have to pull all-nighters (never gonna happen) has me looking at my calendar for the rest of the semester. After break we have 6 weekends left. I have school field trips during three, a trip to Paris during one (did I mention that I'm going to the Catching Fire premiere?? SO EXCITED!), and my housemate and I are planning a trip for the second-to-last weekend. All of my weekends are booked except for the very last one. It makes me feel like my semester is practically over, even though it’s not even halfway through. That combined with the homesickness that I’m finally experiencing are making the melancholy everyone warned me about set in.
I definitely romanticized studying abroad, but I was never disappointed because it lived up to my inflated expectations. A month in I was surprised that I hadn’t experienced any of the changing moods that the study abroad office at Ithaca warned me about; I was still on top of the world. A week ago, my writing teacher said that this was about the time when students really started to get homesick, and gave us an assignment so that we could write about it. Another assignment where we had to write about a time when we felt uncomfortable, displaced, or homesick. I’m super comfortable, I fit right in and I’ve never wished to be anywhere else-- I wished myself here for so long it would be a waste. Now I know what she was talking about. Everything that was exciting about Aix when I got here is still new and fun, but it would be perfect if I could bring all my friends and family here.
The weather changed and so did my mood. Taking one step back, though, reminds me that I’m in France, where I’ve wanted to be for so long, with great friends, big plans and still so much to look forward to. Here’s to hoping that this mood leaves with le mistral and that I get to eat lots of yummy cold-weather food in the meantime!