By Bethany Noble
Sitting patiently in the waiting area at JFK airport, I was on the phone with my grandmother in Los Angeles, telling her how much I missed her. A whirlwind of things happened in my life prior to my departure for
Paris, so I do not think I was really ready or excited to go, but when I told her my plans she said, “ hey now, my baby girl going to see the world.” The words were etched into my memory, and once I got off the plane at Charles de Gaulle airport I took my first breath; said to myself ‘yes, I am about to see the world.’
Nothing was ready to withstand this woman from taking on the city. Looking out the cab windows I gazed upon all the streets with the variety of people and thought, ‘finally that will be me.’ Smiling, I knew I had so many things to do and see, finally with people who are as daring and curious as me. To focus though, I made a list in my first few days in Paris of all the things I wanted to see and do. I began my journey.
Our days were filled with an assortment of activities from a French cooking class, Usain Bolt at the Courir store, or a free hip-hop concert at Paris Plage. Each day was a chance for a new adventure, or some corner of the city that I had not explored yet. Some days I would just love walking around the streets and consuming myself with their detailed history that stretches far beyond my imagination. Paris is a city that lives and breathes a passion that I have not seen before. I was more then happy to take everything in.
Not only was I in one of the cities of my dreams, but I got to study at the world renowned Sorbonne. My class was a little dusting of the world with people from China, Brazil, England, Uruguay, Turkey, Chile and Germany, and they helped fill up our little room with our trusty chalk board and map of France — but of course. Each person came in with a different story to tell. I found this to be one of the most unforeseen parts of coming to study at the Sorbonne; my original vision had a classroom filled with little Americans trying to learn French with our terrible accents. I enjoyed each and every day of it, especially my phonetics teacher. I never had anyone take the time and assist me with my accent, which is one of the most significant parts of learning any language.
I learned you must seize everyday if you want to live, to truly live. To live is to push yourself into new directions, and see things that you may not have wanted to see, but everything helps you grow in one way or another. If you go out to see life and you come back with nothing learnt, then there was no point in leaving. This is what I thought the beginning of my junior year, I had so many plans about what I wanted to do, but that was all they were, ideas. Nothing had been moved upon or put into action, and that is what I did. I wanted to live.
My last night I had been invited to a dinner party with my fellow classmates, and while sitting down discussing with them my time in Paris, I could do nothing but smile, laugh and shed a tear for I was about to leave my life I had made there.