Is This What Becoming an Adult is Like?

I’ve been traveling to a lot of cities and in each of them, I’ve always managed to run into a friend. It’s quite weird for me because it’s not like I’ve met any of these people in Europe – they’re actually from either my hometown or the college I attend.

Paris was the first time I encountered friends. I actually ran into a few of my fraternity brothers, Hanna, Rachel, and Jasmine. I had no idea they would be in the city during the same weekend as myself until I was on a train en route. Super weird! During my┬átime in Paris, I also stayed for one night with my friend Nate. We were good friends in high school, but college forced us not to keep in great touch. He’s actually been in Europe since June 2015, so when I told him I was coming for the semester he insisted┬áthat I visit! We were sitting around talking about old friends (wow I sound old) and realized that some people weren’t in the same stage as us in life. While we were enjoying life to it’s fullest, some people we graduated with were in bad relationships, participating in less than attractive recreational activities, or becoming a couch potato. We came to the conclusion that we just had a different mindset than them.

Myself and other Smith students in Venice

Myself and other Smith students in Venice

In Milan and Venice, I spent time with my fraternity brothers from Paris plus Natalie. I also didn’t know that are schedules would line up the way they did in these cities, which worked out for the best. Along with these people, I also met several students who went to my college, yet I had never met before. It wasn’t super surprising because UMD is a gigantic school, but I didn’t realize so many people were studying abroad that I didn’t know, especially from the Business School.

Fast-forward to Madrid, I stayed with my fraternity brother Katie! Unlike my past encounters, this was definitely planned. She let me stay with her in her apartment, which was shared with more UMD students I had never met before. My last night there, our brother Vivek joined us for dinner with his roommates (who also attend UMD). I clicked so well with one of them that I actually had dinner with her in Berlin!

Myself and my fraternity brothers in Barcelona on Bunkers Hill.

Myself and my fraternity brothers in Barcelona on Bunkers Hill.

Barcelona was another time that I met up with my fraternity brothers. The only one during this trip that I hadn’t seen previously was Rene, who was backpacking through Europe post-graduation. Together, we all explored the city with Hanna, who was studying there for the entire semester. It was actually amazing because the city was completely stunning. Along the way, we met two other UMD students whom I’ve never met before.

So what’s the point of this post? It’s me reflecting on the fact that, no matter what city you travel to (even outside of the States) it’s very hard not to run into anyone whom you don’t have some type of connection to. Whether that connection be the same school or hometown, there’s probably some type of link. It’s also crazy how I’ve been spending so much time with people that I didn’t know before becoming a member of Phi Chi Theta. These kinds of relationships are valuable, something I didn’t realize before leaving the country.

In other words, after two months of being in Europe, it really is a small world. And it’s amazing. Who would’ve know I’d be in the position I’m in with the people I have around me? Everything truly happens for a reason.

So is this what becoming an adult is like? Visiting friends in different cities? Meeting new friends who are related to you in some sort of way? Because if so, I’m not sure I mind.

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