seven months


I had forgotten about this word for a long time. Recently someone mentioned it in a video I was watching on YouTube, and I remembered it. I remembered how much I wanted to thrive.

Foreign exchange gives you a lot of opportunities to thrive. Usually, they aren’t easy. It’s challenging to thrive in a new city, new school, new family, new culture, new everything.

I’m seven months in and trying to find ways to thrive. I think most of the people who know me here would say that I’m doing well. I know some of the language, I know about the culture, I enjoy the food, I’m nice to people (or at least try to be). For me that’s all fine and great, but it isn’t thriving. Sometimes I maybe think that I am simply not in the right place.

I do not want to go home. That is a fact. I miss some things here and there, but I do not want to return. Some of this is due to deep-seeded bitterness that these past seven months has not managed to cure. It’s also because I don’t think I belong back home. I won’t thrive there.

Yet, I also find myself thinking that I won’t thrive here. Some exchange students that I have talked to imagine continuing their lives here. I am not one of them. I love the Czech Republic and Ostrava. I genuinely do. But I don’t think I would thrive here either.

This past month has been full of a lot of social interaction. My best friend, Ellie (another exchange student) visited me for four days and we were constantly doing something. I went to two plesy (I don’t really know how to make an English plural of the word “ples”) which are basically balls/dances/proms. I danced and had fun. I have an Andy Warhol art exhibition I want to go to and there’s this espresso bar/showroom that I want someone to accompany me to. Two of my friends have offered to have sleepovers at their houses, I’m going on EuroTour, and then there are (at least I think there are) three other Rotary weekends between now and when I go home. Also I’ll be turning 17, and depending on my mood, may want to do something for that too.

All of these plans make me slightly nervous going into my last host family. With just Rotary events, I will be gone for nearly a month when you combine all the days together. That’s a lot of time away from home. I won’t get to know them as well and they won’t get to know me as well. So I go into this next house a bit cautiously. I don’t want to just be a tenant in their home, but I’m also a bit worn out of picking up all of my things and then setting up camp somewhere else. Integrating into a family means pushing yourself, and right now, today, I am tired.

I’m going to try and remember to attempt to thrive for the next three months. When I think about flying away in three months I can’t understand it. Where did all of the time go?

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