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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Life + Arts

Travels aren’t fun from a computer screen

I deleted about ten Facebook friends last week because I was tired of seeing all of their summer travel albums every time I looked at my homepage. I could have just hidden their posts, but I usually take a more vindictive approach to conflict resolution. I will continue this approach until I never have to see a “Summer Part One: Greece, Turkey, France, Germany, Portugal, and all of Asia” or “Summer Part Two: Everywhere You Ever Wanted To Go and Saving Orphans in the Third World,” again.

I am considering creating my own Facebook albums to chronicle my boring summer here in Houston. It would include pictures of me driving to work, getting off of work, going to class, and getting ready for bed at 9 p.m.

My former Facebook friends’ albums would be less offensive to me if they didn’t always look so smug in all of their pictures. If I ever get a chance to travel to Europe I will make sure I look miserable in all of my photos, so as not to upset my friends back home. I will frown in front of the Tower of London and look indignant in front of the Eiffel Tower. I will make sure to label the album, “Everything is way better back in Houston.”

In all seriousness, though, the majority of students, like me, will never get to travel abroad during their college years. They get stuck here in Houston because of their jobs, classes or familial responsibilities. If you are someone who is fortunate enough to travel or study abroad this summer, don’t take the experience lightly. However, don’t rub it in the faces of your peers.

I recently heard a student on campus talking to a friend about how she didn’t understand why more students didn’t study abroad. She was talking about it with the naïve voice of someone whose parents likely foot the bill for everything and probably didn’t realize that most students are not in her situation.

For students who work and have other responsibilities, it is often hard to get through the summer months. The deletion of several of my Facebook friends provided me with a temporary antidote, but my wanderlust is creeping in again.

The best solution to summer travel woes is to embrace your situation and to make the best of it. Your work experience will come in handy when you are looking for a job after graduation, and that class you are taking this summer may help you graduate earlier. Or, you could spend your summer buried in a book, traveling the road of ideas.

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