Last Wednesday was the last day of my semester abroad.
It began with a 5-hour long final exam that lasted from 9 to 2pm, consisted of a 50+ page case study in French, and no allotted break. We literally had to pack a lunch/snacks and ate that while we wrote until our hands cramped. I survived, but I would never wish that onto another person.
When the exam was finished, the sun was shining and all of us Marketing students had smiles of joy on our faces. It was truly a hard exam, and it’s the kind where there really isn’t one “right” answer. Honestly, I should be more concerned; but at this point, there’s nothing more I can do. I did the best I could this semester. And that’s enough for me.
I wanted to eat, relax and take a nap after my exam. However, since our gala was the same night, I ventured out into Capitole instead to look for a dress to wear. Let me just say that one does not come to Toulouse to shop. The selection of stores is minimal, and there are even repeats within a 300 meter radius. That’s like a 3-minute walk between two of the exact same stores. I mean, it’s convenient if one of the stores runs out of a desired item, but let’s be real here. I found a dress three hours later.
Once I got back to my apartment, I was able to do absolutely nothing except relax for a good 15 minutes. I had to do my hair and get ready!
Plus, not once during this semester was there a night where we all could really dress up. The French surprisingly dress down when they go clubbing, and there was no point to look fancy if we’d go out to dinner because it was never encouraged. So, everyone pretty much went all out for this night. Even the boys brought out their suits!
It was almost a wasted effort because by the time we had to leave, it was pouring outside. I remember seeing those prom shows on MTV- the good experiences, as well as the bad- and that rain made it the longest walk to dinner.
Though, no rain could ruin this parade of exchange students who wanted to celebrate one last time together.
We had dinner on a boat that was followed by dancing at the club.
It was such a lovely evening with everyone that it didn’t feel like it was the end. It just felt like another night out with the gang.
I have been truly blessed with this opportunity, and I was reminded at the gala that now I have people all over the world who I can truly call friends. This is all I could have ever wanted and more from this experience and I am so thankful for everything. For all the laughs, spilled drinks, crazy nights, and funny stories. These will all be the greatest memories.