I arrived back in Tuscaloosa after what seems like far too short of a time in the most magical city in the world. I was excited to come home and see my family and friends but I couldn’t help but feel I left a piece of my heart in Prague. I never realized how strong the friendships I made would be and it was hard to see all my friends fly home to different states all over the country. I will never forget all of the adventures I had and all of the crazy stories I have from my semester abroad. As i have started to adjust to life back in Tuscaloosa, I can confirm that reverse culture shock is definitely a real thing.
After the initial couple of days of excitement seeing the family and friends I hadn’t seen for so long, I really noticed how different everything is here compared to Europe and how small Tuscaloosa is. I have comprised a list of a few of the things that have helped me cope with the changes and adjusting back to life in America.
- Keep connected with the friends you met abroad. I met some really incredible people studying in Prague and it has helped me cope to the changes of coming back knowing that they’re adjusting to the exact same changes too.
- Take spontaneous trips. This has really helped me get over the small town feel of Tuscaloosa. Even if it’s just a day trip to Birmingham or driving 30 minutes out of town to go hiking, it helps me feel less trapped.
- Seek out new experiences and make new friends. After four months of running around all over Europe, making friends in hostels and trying so many new things, this really helps continue the excitement level that this past semester had.
Overall, I am enjoying being back home and all the precious time with friends I missed over the past few months, and I look back fondly on all the memories I made across the pond.