One of the cool things about going to Australia for my study abroad adventure is the way their semesters happen to fall. Since Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons and schedules are a bit opposite compared to what we are all used to. Semester One begins in January and Semester Two begins in July. Since DU’s school year doesn’t end until the beginning of June, I have less than one month to spend at home before I head off for Semester Two.

Originally, I wanted to try to find a job for my time left in the states. However, that would require me to find a super temporary job or lie about how long I would be available, because no one wants to hire an employee for only three weeks. After applying for a job or two and receiving no offers, I decided to entirely scrap the idea. Why waste the short time I have at home working some crappy minimum wage job that I would probably hate anyway?

To me, the tradeoff between money and free time just wasn’t enough to make it worth it. Time with my family is priceless, and all of that would be lost for dollars. I needed to make my short time at home really count, and the way to do that did not involve scooping ice cream or delivering pizzas.

Since giving up the half-hearted job search, I have spent so much quality time with my family. I saw Frankie Valli (my favorite) in concert with my Noni, I played mini golf and had a Rainbow Cone with my Popi, I rock climbed with my aunt and cousins and played in a treehouse with my other grandparents, I had a picnic and listened to music with my Dad, I watched Finding Dory with my mom just like we watched Finding Nemo when I was little, and that’s just the beginning of it. And there are still 11 days and plenty of fun left to go.

While making money might be tempting, at the end of the day, time with family is so much more important. If you end up in a study abroad program like mine that starts super early in the summer, just focus on enjoying the time you have with friends and family and preparing for your journey. It’ll be time much better spent.
I have made my time at home count, and now it’s time to make my time abroad countwhatever that may include. I will try to get a job while in Tasmania and hopefully that will work out. More importantly, I’m going to try to take scuba diving lessons, go on as many hikes as possible and watch some Australian football and rugby games. I figure that the time I have there will go by so quickly, so I want to do my best to take advantage of every second. It’s time to embrace the adventure and make every moment special. So here’s to making it count.