Studying abroad is full of thrilling new opportunities, but when classes start, it's easy to get into a routine that's not exactly "exciting."
8 a.m.: Alarm on my phone goes off. Hit snooze and go back to sleep.
8:10 a.m.: Alarm goes off again. Hit snooze again and go back to sleep again.
8:20 a.m.: Alarm goes off again. Hit snooze and turn on light, then lay back down in bed.
8:25 a.m.: Finally awake enough to get ready for the day. Pick out an outfit from the same clothes I've been wearing for the past month.
8:40 a.m.: Go downstairs for breakfast, which is toast with butter or jelly and tea or coffee. It's not extravagant, but hey, it's free.
9:00 a.m. - noon: French class, taught by an awesome man who usually teaches linguistics at the university. We do grammar exercises, listening activities, written work and group discussions. It's extremely difficult, and my brain feels like it's melting afterward.
Noon - 1:30 p.m.: Free time. I can get lunch at the cafeteria (usually sandwiches), eat a quick lunch in my room (usually involving Nutella), work on homework, or take a nap.
1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.: European Integration and Politics class. We just started the second half of the course today, which is taught by a Parisian lawyer who speaks five languages.
After class, we're free once again. On Mondays we usually have a program-sponsored event (tonight is a French and International Aperitif, which will have a sampling of wine, cheese and snacks), and typically once a week we have a group dinner with the professor from NC State. When there isn't anything planned, I work on homework, go to the mall, walk around town, or go to a bar and watch soccer.
Now that I have this general schedule, which includes six hours of class, it's easy to say "I'm tired," and just hang out at the university. I have less than two weeks remaining in Lille, so I want to make the most of it. (If that means missing a homework assignment, oh well. In the long run, I think exploring Lille to the fullest will be more meaningful than preparing for a French debate about Internet pirating laws.)