So you studied abroad, and it changed your life. Or maybe you studied abroad and emerged exactly the same person you were before. Either way, if your abroad experience is over, you've probably noticed some, uh, differences between home and *gazes longingly off into distance* your city.
I have been home for four months, and at a real American college for one of those months. That means I've had plenty of time to collect my thoughts. It's not that I have any one big complaint about the U.S., but rather a collection of tiny ones. So here they are, wrapped in a pretty package that cost your family way too much to ship, the biggest of my tiny disappointments.
Note: While I tried to make these general, every city has nuances that make its experience unique. Please don't come for me if these aren't your exact thoughts.
1. You got used to "real" food
Somehow, in four months, your body lost its ability to handle all of America's processed food. Food in Europe is real and delicious, yet you spent the whole semester wishing for a bowl of fluorescent orange mac n' cheese. When you finally got it, it sent you to the bathroom for half an hour. It felt like your best friend betrayed you.
2. There are too many *scoff* Americans
The first thing you learned abroad is that Americans are loud, annoying and rude. While you couldn't help the others, you spent the semester trying to blend in and avoid the disgusted glances from people on the subway.
Now, everyone around you is American and loudly asks you how your time in "Czechoslovakia" was. It's not a country anymore, but thanks for asking.
3. None of your friends are interested
Even though they ask how it was, they expect an answer like "amazing" or "life-changing." They don't want to hear all the charming anecdotes about where you had great coffee cake or that time you accidentally took the subway one stop too far.
The good news is that your mom always wants stories.
4. There is a disturbing lack of clubs.
Clubs were the best because they gave your night a purpose: dancing your butt off. Sure, there may have been a few nights when you left your soul on the dance floor, but anything is better than the same old campus bar where they don't even play good music. (And that's if you're even legal.)
5. Your Instagram went from #goals to #whatever
Abroad, you were the ruler of Instagram. There were always exciting foods, people, and places you could post about and bask in the popularity. Your cat just doesn't have quite the same appeal.
There's no shame in posting a #tbt from your semester every week, right?
6. Nobody wants to travel
In Europe you could get to Vienna, Berlin, or Budapest in about five hours. Here, that same drive gets you to... Missouri. It's just not quite the same.
7. Your new friends are long distance
Your program stuck a bunch of people together to fend for themselves in a foreign country. Therefore, you got very close very quickly. The only problem is you're from all over the country, and you now have 10 long distance friends to keep up with. (It's totally worth it, though.)
8. The coffee.
And food. And beer. And dessert. You had all your favorites and they're either impossible to find or very expensive here. (Looking at you, Pilsner Urquell.)
If you want to know more about European coffee culture, you should check out this article.
Whether you can relate because you've been abroad or you're going and want to prepare yourself, I hope this article was useful to you. If you take only one thing from it, make it this: peanut butter is not the same in Europe.