Surrounding yourself with old and new friends in new places

Bowden has gotten to make new friends and see beautiful sights like this so far in London, England.

Alex Bowden, Herald Foreign Correspondent

Well folks, I’ve pretty much been in London for about seven weeks and it already feels like home. By home I mean that all the smells are familiar, the WiFi takes a while to be repaired and I’m sick of everyone I live with. Guess what, being with your friends constantly isn’t as great as sickening Twitter and Tumblr posts that spew platitudes about loving your friends make it seem. It’s actually pretty tiring most of the time. 
I hope that those of you that read this article, whether in Rhode Island or England, know that I dislike you all equally and you probably know that and share the same sentiment toward me and other friends you may have. Those of you that read this who don’t know me and might be interested in studying abroad may see what I and many others are going through as a hinderance. Well, guess what buddy, that’s life! 
Luckily a program that puts you in the heart of a foreign country will teach you a lot about life, which is actually why I enjoy this experience so much. So the question is, how do I get away from these people I have to spend every day with? Start with this: Put down your phone, Netflix or Gameboy Color and go outside to a park. London (and most great European countries) are stocked with enough parks to choke a grazing cow. Take a seat on a bench, put on some music and watch people. Free time should be used not just for gossiping with the same people you will see tomorrow. It should be for looking at the small things happening in the park, like the dogs running around or a toddler learning how to walk. 
Walk away by yourself sometimes (preferably during the hours of sunlight) and get away from the Americans. Start talking with some British people and eventually, you’ll be immersed in cultures from all around the world. Broaden your horizons by getting out of your dorm and going out into the country you asked to be in. 
Another extremely important thing is making new friends. Yes, you may be here for three months and on a packed schedule, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t talk to a local on the bus (if they want to be talked to) on the way to a class. If you go out to a club, don’t just dance with your friends, dance with a random person and maybe have a conversation with that person. Next thing you know you’ll be going on a date with them and taking them to a late night talk show taping. I may be too specific here with what I’ve been doing while in this country, but you readers will get the gist. 
While I say you should definitely get away from the people you know, you should not completely discount them. Remember these are some of the people that will be in the back of your mind when you have fond memories in the future of your studies abroad. Don’t throw these people away, use this time as a way to get to know them better and by the time you’re back at school you will be stronger than you were when you left. While my statements here might not be kosher enough for an inspirational quote Instagram page, they are honest as can be. Now that I have completed writing this article and you’ve completed reading the article, go hang out with your friends. They will be much funnier than what you’re looking at now.