It’s currently 1:10am on Monday morning. I had planned to get this post up early on Sunday afternoon, and then hoped I could get it up quickly after work. But the truth is, I’ve been avoiding it. To say that I’ve been avoiding the topic may not be entirely accurate, because this is the first chance I would have had to post about it. But I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to; I don’t have the answers and I’m not sure of what it means for my plans going forward.
My France trip in May was cancelled on Friday. I’m not even sure if I had written about the trip yet; it seemed too soon. I planned on writing closer to the dates, perhaps end of April. I’ll briefly sum it up: I was enrolled in a Group Study program in Tours, France for five weeks in May and June. Academically speaking, the trip would have allowed me to finish my French minor before I started my business concentration in the fall, while having this whole semester off to work, save money, and explore other interests. From a more personal standpoint, it would have brought me back to France for a solid month. Back in 2014-15, I lived in Lyon for six months. I met the most amazing people, walked the most historical streets and had the best grasp of the French language that I’ve ever had: immersion really is the way to go. I love it back home in Canada, but I’ve been itching to go back ever since. So when this group study came up, I barely hesitated. Sure, it was half the price of my last trip for 1/6th of the time. But it was France. And it was educational. Win-win, no matter the monetary cost.
The program wasn’t very well advertised or talked about in our French classes (between my friends and I, we had nearly all the bases covered for class offerings, and no one had heard their professors speak about it). So when we found out that there was a chance of enrolment being low, we started getting the word out; we recruited two more than the minimum that we were told was needed (they gave us a number a few less than the initial ideal), and talked it up in different french communities on campus. Registration closed in early December, and we had interviews and confirmations mid/late-December. Deposits were due first week of January, and they sent out an email last week reminding us of the next payment.
Then, out of the blue, when my friend Joanna and I were having coffee and dreaming about our days in the Loire, she got an email notification: Tours Group Study Trip Cancelled. She had more to lose by receiving this news, as the program would complete her degree and she wasn’t planning on being in town next year. I’m lucky that only my dreams of returning to the country I love so much were put on hold; while sorting out the academics may prove to be an issue, I’m still in school another two years regardless. For me, it’s a bummer. It’s confusing. I feel weird now having taken this semester off. Should I have taken French classes this term just in case? I can’t dwell on that though. If anything, I’m setting myself up for financial success going forward with school, and I will not complain about that.
There are a few ways I’ve considered dealing with the extra money I will now have; some of those ways have been more frivolous, some quite responsible. I’ll sleep on it for a while longer and hopefully find a happy balance. Because really, what 23-year-old “struggling” university student really needs Gucci slides and a Louis Vuitton duffel? Not this one.. At least, not at once. I can be patient.
For now, I will be content knowing that I don’t need to pinch every penny I earn, but I can still live quite well doing so, and it’s not a bad habit to keep with (in moderation, as everything). I will also rest well knowing that I have seen some of the most beautiful sites that France has to offer, and I will be back to experience the rest.
Here are some pictures I took in Paris and Versailles. Most of my Lyon ones have never been transferred to this computer, but maybe I will remember to add a few. It’s a lovely little city that just feels like home to think about. It’s so underrated, even with its title of Gastronomic Capital and its amazing Fête des Lumières every December. I must share more about that. Plus tard, je le ferai.
The time is now 2:31am. It’s my bedtime. I will see you again soon.