1. You don't have free time anymore
Cause if you do, there is always a new event to plan, new ideas to share, new people to meet or… new emails to read. And if you manage to do some amazing time management and you get more time for yourself… well… ESN will take it all anyway. And the worst part - you will still be super excited about it.
2. You forget the perks of all inclusive holidays
You get so used to travelling like a local, having only pocket money, that you don't understand why you would have to pay pay a LOT for visiting a city when you could simply get there by a cheap flight / hitchhiking / BlaBlaCar and crash on a former Erasmus’ or a local ESNer’s couch. And have a beer where locals do! "Anyone from…?"
3. Cooperating with your classmates becomes challenging
They don’t know anything about project planning, dividing tasks or time management. In worst case scenario, they believe using Google docs requires super powers.
4. Your regular friends don't get what all the fuss is about
"Sure. Foreigners. Of course. THOSE Erasmus people. Shouldn't you start doing something serious?" And my personal favourite: "OMG, I don't get why you are sad. The new ones will come in a few months, right?"
5. You become sadly realistic about yourself
ESN teaches you that actually less is better and no-one would eat a blue banana. When the audience falls asleep during your presentation, it's not the topic that is boring - you are. Oh and if you screw things up, you will receive a very tasty feedback sandwich - until you learn how to do things the right way. And you will have to learn all the time. But in spite all of that…
6. You believe in unicorns
Despite the difficult daily life situations, you actually believe that everything is possible and eventually you will get everything you work for. Not alone obviously. Those are the fellow ESNers that will push you forward, support your ideas and not let you give up (ignoring tears and blood). Looking for the synergy effect? Well… ESN defines it. So if there is anyone I could blame for my ambitions, courageous life plans and not accepting being average - damn you ESN! All your fault!
And the worst of the worst…
7. You say goodbye more often than you order a pizza
Even if you eat a lot of pizza. Yes. And get post-Erasmus depression in your own city. All. The. Time. You will become best friends with people from the other side of Europe and then spend all your holidays and all your money on visiting them. Or you will become the "human Skype". No matter how tough you think you are, at some point, I guarantee, you will be sick of goodbyes. But then you eventually notice that all in all Europe is pretty small.
So now… find the local ESN section, meet those people and give them a waaarm hug. If they are already in - there is no way out. No rescue for them. So just go and show your emotional support.
By Agata Lech
This article originally appeared on the blog I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list