The Bad Side
“You build a life in 16 years and leave it for ten months, and then you build a life in ten months and leave it forever.”
So as you all know, I am not in Switzerland anymore. I am living in Virginia Beach as an exchange student, which means I will go to High School here for one year and then return home again.
A lot of people never really get how it is to be an exchange student, to live this whole new life, and leaving everything you’re used to far away.
This whole experience isn’t always as much fun as it seems. First of all, I always have the thought that this is my only chance to make my exchange year as amazing as possible. Every little trip or event is the first and last time that I will able to do this and even if a year sounds extremely long, time is constantly going and I already passed halftime.
The next thing is of course missing home. I wouldn’t say that I am homesick a lot, I really have fun. But every now and then I wish I was in my room, in my house, knowing my family is downstairs waiting for me with breakfast and that I could just text my friends at what time we are meeting. You don’t have the same support of your family or your friends because they are not physically next to you, so every bad day that you get is even worse. And of course, I don’t only miss the people, I miss the whole life I am used to. I miss biking to school, I miss my village and my city, I miss the food freshly cooked from my mom and every little tradition I took for granted. Oh and yes, I miss Switzerland.
I grew up with speaking Swiss German and started learning English in Grade 3, this is not my native language and although I think I can fluently speak and keep up a conversation, there are some difficulties. For example, there are some things that I just can’t say the way I want to or people won’t get the right thing, that I actually meant. And no matter how hard I would love to, I always have an accent and it makes me insecure to talk in front a lot of people or I just don’t have the same confidence. Somedays I just can’t speak English, the pronunciation won’t work, the words don’t come in my head and the grammar is horrible, but still I just have to.
Now you might think I hate my exchange year, or that I won’t stop complaining. This is for sure not the case, I love being here and living this experience and tomorrow you’ll find another blogpost about all the amazing things I get to do. But I feel like people only get to see the bright side of an exchange, which is sadly not the whole truth.