I am, by definition, an introvert. I would rather be by myself than with a group of people any day of the week. In high school, I had my set group of friends, but spent most of my time studying, alone. When I decided to attend UGA, my mother thought it would be a great opportunity to broaden my horizons and experience things I had never done before. Yet, my freshman year was a lot like high school. I was in my dorm room studying, occasionally doing things with my friends.

Even though I am an introvert, I really love to travel. Because I have always wanted to visit London, Rome, and Paris, I applied for The Grand Tour of Europe Maymester study abroad. I was excited about all the places I would get to see, but a little nervous too. I knew, based on the layout of this Maymester, that I would be surrounded by my classmates continuously. I knew we would be constantly traveling. I knew it was going to be a whirlwind of site seeing activities, lectures, movies, photo taking, and navigating a new city almost every day. I wondered if I would have my “me time” to recharge. I wondered if I would be able to sit and people watch and take it all in. I wondered if I would make friends, as I knew no one beforehand. I was worried this was a mistake.

Now that I have been back for a month, I can honestly say it was the best experience of my life. Yes, I stayed busy, but it wasn’t overwhelming.  There were days where we were free to do what we wanted and on occasion, I would walk around by myself site seeing. Even the scheduled locations we visited were beautiful, historic places one would want to go to anyway. There were some nights I stayed in my room and enjoyed the quiet, while my classmates went out to a pub or diner. There were numerous nights I went with them. I made some great friends and got to see art, buildings, gardens, and historical monuments I may never get to see again. I learned that I can balance work, and fun, and have amazing adventures all at the same time. My mother was right. UGA did allow me to experience more things than I ever imagined.