What will stay (bis) …

Here are the most important persons I’ve met on my American road. The ones I have the best memories with, the ones that support me no matter what and the ones that have contributed to make me grow up.  I’ve realized that although my blog is about my experience here as a French student athlete, I didn’t even talk about them. Closing my blog without alluding to them would have been … impossible.

evaEva or Chiquita (Eva castiglioni): She’s my little half Frenchie half Spanish. She’s sort of my little sister here and as every big sister, I always want to make sure that she is doing good and that everything is ok for her. I know her for only one year but one year is enough to figure out how amazing this girl is in terms of personality.

Her particularity: Great singer

brockIsla or Brock (Isla Brock): The kindest girl you can find on campus. She is German and she is my teammate. I am lucky to have that girl around me to … make me laugh, or give me occasions to laugh at her. But more important, she’s the one that, no matter what, will always be there for you. She helps me dealing with everything here.

Her particularity: she can’t say “NO”

cathCath (Catherine Gauthier): Catherine is the most important person for me here. We’ve started our American experience together and we’ll close it together. That’s the person I have the most memories with … We both have been through hard times here but we both have always been there to help and support each other. I definitely don’t want to lose track of her after my graduation. The only “problem” … she lives in Canada.

Her particularity: two cute dimples on each one of her cheeks

Coach

Coach: My coach is definitely the person here who I learnt the most from. I sort of learnt the hard way with him but with hindsight, this is the best that could have happened to me. Through him, I learnt a lot about tennis but I learnt even more about life. Being a better player is great, but being a better person is priceless. I think I am growing up a lot here and I am definitely stronger than I was two years before. He is one of the reasons why.

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What will stay …

Since this is my last post, I want to take stock of my experience here. You probably want to know the result of two years and a half spent as a Frenchie in the US. Well, the answer stands in one word … memories. Although not all of them are good, they all definitely contributed to make me grow up. I still have more than a year to spend here and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Yet, I already know what I will miss the most when I’ll go back to France.

black-blackandwhite-fun-grey-memories-favim-coIt won’t be the country itself, it won’t be its food, it won’t be this university … It will be the people. My classmates, my teachers, my coaches, my teammates of course but also each and everyone of the people working on and around campus. You don’t forget that easy people you get to see everyday for four years.

Plus, although they are very different from me, I have to confess that I will miss the Americans in general … Their kindness, their extrovert dimension, their craziness sometimes. You don’t see people going to class with sport pants on back home. You don’t see students coming to the cafeteria with their sleepers on either. And you don’t see students coming to class completely relax 15 minutes after the class had begun. I will miss those Louisiana students too, stuck at their phone walking around campus with a fish on the back of their shirt,  sunglasses hanging around their neck, and flashy Nike shoes covering their feet. I will miss all of them. I may have a smile when I think about them but this smile is already a nostalgic one. Yes, we are different, Americans students act differently than French students in and outside of class but this difference is not a sick but a gift. A cultural gift.