It’s the spring semester and if you’re a Junior with rich parents (or an incredible amount of debt) you’re probably heading abroad. If you already went abroad during the fall semester then we come from two totally different worlds: I went to a big school with a football team, you went to a small school with Asians, I watch reality television, you read something called “a book,” I consider the ‘Awesome Blossom’ an American delicacy, you “have a spot for studying in the library nobody knows about.” Telling me you went abroad in the fall tells me to stop listening to your college story about that time you were “totally doing whatever you were saying” and start thinking about your boobs (it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female). Either way, the abroad experience is great. Us American kids get to drunkenly stumble around Europe or Australia showing those dummies why ‘Merica is, and always will be, NUMBER 1. Why don’t the Chinese go abroad? They’re too busy making our iPods so we're entertained during our train ride to a sick party in Prague. If you’re heading abroad then make our country proud and try to avoid these crucial mistakes:
Don’t Have a Girlfriend
I’ve got two words for you: “The Weird.” What’s “The Weird?” “The Weird” is what happens when chicks change time zones. “The Weird” is what happens when everyone is off of their normal schedules. “The Weird” is what happens when you’re disconnected from your normal group that you’ve gotten used to at college. “The Weird” is the type of hook-up that happens when European bedrooms are made for dainty European bodies and nobody speaks the language and let’s go for some anal play since your roommate’s a heavy sleeper. “The Weird” happens more abroad than any other time in your life. The hook-up stories people tell from abroad always get repeated because you can’t believe jet lag could make a girl THAT into defecation. Having a girlfriend will not let you take part in “The Weird.” That girlfriend and you will stay in “The Norm” and your penis won’t have Gulliver-like adventures. Find “The Weird.” Find the defecation.
Don’t Go To London
Instead, when you get back, just go to New York City. And then buy something, pay double and walk away. Same thing as London. Try Croatia. Way cheaper.
Don’t Travel Every Weekend
You’ll have some pushy, whiny kid with you (probably named Joshua Rubensteinberg) who gets out the calendar and starts filling every weekend with cities he heard “have great stank” (he’s also the kid trying to make “stank” work). Your city is cool. You should check out your city. Too many people abroad treat their city as a launchpad to other places rather than a destination in and of itself. When I was abroad my favorite thing to do was sit in a piazza with an espresso and stare at Italian women. It was fun and not at all creepy since we didn’t speak the same language so they couldn’t see me staring.
Don’t Freak Out When It Sucks
Every chick you talk to about going abroad will say they “HAD AN AMAAAAZZZINNNGGG TIME IN FLORENCE” and “YOU HAVEEEE TO GGGGOOOOO ABROADDD! I MEAN YOLO!” (I used caps to show an annoying chick speaking “drunk loud”) The fact is, nobody talks about how awkward and miserable that first week is, it’s the reason “The Weird” exists. Everything you know is kind of thrown off and it just kind of sucks. You get drunk and you’re hungover and all you want is a bagel sandwich but you don’t even know how to say bagel in Italian or which guy on the block hates Jews. Then you take a shower and water is getting everywhere, and you pooped in something called a bidet, and you’ve watched The Hangover so many times that you’re mouthing the commentary. It’s all just kind of a lot. Don’t worry. Don’t be the person that leaves (there’s always one, her “grandmother is fine” and “she’ll reconnect her Facebook account soon”). It will be fun. The beginning just sucks and that overly excited chick trying to prove she’s “in the know” won’t be so forward with that whole bulimia thing she developed her first week in Prague.
Don’t Get Fat
Theres always a girl who has a "thyroid problem" abroad. It couldn’t POSSIBLY have anything to do with the 5 loaves of bread she eats every day, drenched in olive oil, washed down with 2 bottles of three-euro wine. Girls abroad suddenly turn into homeless people who stumbled into an open buffet. They think they’re the lady from ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ and justify it all by claiming that a delicious slice of pizza will enrich their life experience to the point of religious revelation. But the lady from ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ - besides being full of hot garbage - didn’t scarf down 6 slices of cheapest pizza she could find at four in the morning. Stay away from these animals and try and live healthy. You’ll appreciate the food a little more if you’re not busy trying to wedge it into your gaping maw. Otherwise, you’ll Eat, sure. Then you’ll Pray anyone will ever Love you.
Bonus: The ‘Weird’ is even weirder when you look good.
Don’t Eat Doner Kebab
Doner Kebab is a gyro that for some reason acts as a laxative. Getting a gyro in America is already a pretty tough next morning but NOTHING compares to the PTSD I developed thanks to the Doner Kebab. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and with my anus sweating (I call them “Butt Tears”). Just imagine a ten hour stretch wear you poop fire that’s drenched in tabasco sauce. That description is too much but really it’s not enough. Just pick out the largest ‘Flamin Hot Cheeto’ from the bag and that’s what your poop looks and feels like. You’ll be having this nightmare every night.
Don’t Wear A Canadian Flag On Your Backpack
Before I left for studying abroad I had three different people tell me that I should put a Canadian flag on my backpack so that Europeans would treat me better. I don’t know about you guys but I’m an American and part of being from this country is not giving a crap. I don’t care about climate change, or littering, or aerosol cans. I like my pizza cold and my tacos made with a taco shell that’s covered with cheese and then covered with a softer taco shell. I think of the kid with the Canadian flag on his backpack the same way I think about the kid with a hyphenated last name, both of their Dads are pussies. U-S-A-U-S-A-U-S-A (chugging a Budweiser. Puking because it’s 8:30 am).