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.
You forget the perks of all inclusive holidays
You got so used to traveling like a local, having pocket money only, that you don't understand why you have to pay a lot for visiting a city, when you could simply get there by cheap flight/ hitch-hiking/ Bla Bla Car and crush on a former Erasmus or a local ESNer's couch and have a beer where the locals do! "Anyone from…?".
Cooperating with your classmates becomes challenging
They know shit about project planning, dividing tasks and time management. In the worst case scenario, they believe using Google Docs requires super powers.
Your regular friends don't get what all this fuss is about
"Sure. Foreigners. Ofc. THOSE Erasmus people. Shouldn't you start doing something serious?". And my personal favourite one: "Omg, I don't get why you are sad. The new ones will come in a few months, right?"
You become sadly realistic about yourself
ESN teaches you that actually less is more and no-one would eat a blue banana. When audience falls asleep during your presentation it's not topic that is boring - you are. Oh, and if you screw things up, you will receive very tasty feedback sandwich - until you learn how to do things in a right way. And you will have to learn all the time. And despite all of that…
You believe in unicorns
In spite of the difficult daily life situations, you actually believe that impossible is nothing, and eventually you will get everything you work for. Not alone obviously. The fellow ESNers will push you forward, support your ideas and won't 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…
You say goodbye more often than order a pizza
Even if you eat a lot of pizza. Yes. And be post-Erasmus depressed 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, if you invest your friendships in either the Erasmus people or fellow ESNers, at some point, I can guarantee, you will be sick of goodbyes.
Then eventually you can also notice that, all in all, Europe is pretty small ;)
So now… find the local ESN section, meet those people and give them a warm hug. If they are already in - there is no way out. No rescue for them. So just go and show your emotional support.
Text: Agata Lech