Friends, can you believe it’s already the end of summer? It flew by so fast. The semester did not allow for any settling in; I have been up and running since Day 1. Regardless, although I really miss summer, I am pretty happy with the start of the new semester (Keep an eye out for a future blog titled “New Year, New Me”).
Do y’all remember the blog I wrote last spring about how you can spend your summer? There are a million different things you can do with your summer, and I am very happy to say that I was able to knock off lots of things on that list. This blog is going to be about what I did this summer. Although not all of it was spectacular, I can definitely say this summer was not short on adventures.
Summer started off the best way possible—a trip to Europe with 4 of my best friends. We had planned to go on a friends’ trip during spring break, but because of research travel, I was not able to make it. The trip was suspended until after finals and honestly, I think that was the best decision we made. We flew out the day after finals. Our first stop was London! This was my first time in Europe, so your girl was hyped! We hit all the main attractions: Big Ben, the London Eye, and Buckingham Palace. Our time in London was limited to 7 hours before we had to catch a train to Paris, stop #2.
Have any of you traveled on the high speed trains around Europe? They are so cool! We took the EuroStar from London to Paris. The EuroStar is super cool because the train travels underground through the English Channel. In reality, it was pitch black when we were in them, but it was still cool knowing we were under water.
Once in Paris, we all fell asleep. It had been a day since we had all slept back in America, it was time for lights out. The next day, we walked over 10 miles! Sadly, a week before our trip, Notre Dame had its huge fire, so the closest we were able to get was a park across the street. Regardless, Paris was still very beautiful. We were able to hit all the spots we wanted: The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Catacombs, and Versai. Our last stop was Amsterdam!
Amsterdam was by far my favorite. The people were super friendly, the fries rocked, but most importantly, the city was a dream. I could 100% live there. Everyone bikes everywhere, there are waffle stands all over the place, it’s super vegan-friendly (yes, I’m vegan—Go Plants!), and they’re known for their tulip gardens. We walked an average of 10 miles each day, and though it was super tiring, it was so worth it.
Europe was a dream with my best friends, but it wasn’t long before the reality of summer hit. Once I got back to Chicago, I needed to find a job ASAP. Luckily, I was hired as a barista and learned some really cool things about the coffee craft. Since math is not my best subject, I wanted to take the class over the summer at a community college so that I could devote all of my time to it. Needless to say, calculus is super hard! I got through the class and learned some stuff about derivatives, but I am really happy biology only requires you to take Calculus 1. The classes lasted 8 weeks, and to celebrate the end, I took another trip…
Happy Times in Canada
Alright, if it is not apparent, I love traveling! Anytime I get the opportunity to go away, I always take it. Look out for a blog on how you can travel as a student with a tight budget. Anyways, Canada is awesome! My best friend and I road-tripped to the Quebec region and stopped in Ottawa, Quebec City, and Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier. I had never been that far east in Canada. The cities were amazing, but the national park was by far my favorite part. Scroll down for some pictures I took along the trip!
Back to School
I got back to campus a week before classes started to get settled into my new house and prepare for the semester ahead. I like being back. Although I do miss traveling and stress-free summer adventures, I am super excited to finish up my senior year. It’s kind of scary, to be honest. It feels like I just moved into Weston Hall, but in reality, that was 3 years ago. Time flies, friends, and it really hits you in the face once you’re a senior.
This year, I want to really focus on making my posts as helpful as I can for you all. I am going to talk a bit about my research, new goals, grad school, work, etc. I hope you all enjoyed reading my blogs last semester.
Good luck with college apps, future Illini! I know the stress, but in the end, I promise everything will be okay.
Until next time,