Ten Columns. One Post.

Since September, I’ve been writing weekly columns for The California Aggie, the student newspaper of my alma mater, UC Davis.

Every Thursday for 10 weeks, I dove into the study abroad experience as well as cultural and social discrepancies between my new and old homes.

These 10 weeks are over, and now the articles can be packaged and read like a neat bundle of thoughts. If you missed a column, or every column, I’m making the process of catching up extra simple.

Week One: Brussels sprouts
An introduction to me and the American fantasy of living in Europe

Week Two: Eco-What?
The oddity that is Belgian environmental consciousness

Week Three: The foreign prince
Playing make-believe for one-night-love

Week Four: Waffling around
Debunking the American conception of Belgian waffles

Week Five: Host mothers
Two topics in one: living with a host family and America’s drinking age

Week Six: Euro-Bro love
Europeans idealize fraternity parties, plastic red cups and all things bro-tastic. Who knew?

Week Seven: Surf’s up
An unpaid advertisement for CouchSurfing

Week Eight: The foreign prince II
Adjusting to the Belgian system of dating

Week Nine: Homesickness
The emotional phases that come with studying abroad

Week Ten: Bon voyage
What’s next for me and what I advise for you

Thanks to those who read, thanks to those who sent kind emails, and thanks to those in Brussels who answered all of my weird questions all the time.

Not letting go

Last year at UC Davis, I spent around four hours a day, Sunday through Wednesday, in a basement.

The California Aggie, our student newspaper, has its office down there, and my “office” was in there. My “office” was a desk, and said desk had treasures deep in its drawers like student government budgets, old notes from editors pre-millennium, and deodorant.

I’m the first to admit that I miss the basement.

It was home! Even though I was diligently working only for a few hours there each day, I returned on days off and even nights to hold extra meetings or get some quiet studying in. And of course, I was working around the clock from my handy Droid, too.

So, being here in Brussels where there isn’t a story I should be writing, editing or helping someone with at every hour of every day is… strange.

It’s great! Don’t get me wrong. The break is appreciated. When my friends at The Aggie were stressing out about hiring and training and so on in the spring, it felt so refreshing to just be done.

But I intend to return. The first thing I do when I visit Davis in May might just be a trip to the basement. Where else am I going to go? It’s not like I had friends or a life or anything.

Consider this the start to my comeback: a weekly column on page two, every Thursday, starting yesterday.