...when I took a year off school and moved to Paris on my own!

"My proudest moment is when I took a year off school and moved to Paris on my own!

My first few years of college were a struggle. I didn't know what I wanted to study, how best to focus my time, or how to balance life as a working student. All my friends were graduating and had plans for life after college, while I remained stuck and unmotivated. I called my friend who was living in Paris at the time and told him I wanted to potentially take a semester off to travel and visit him along the way. He told me he had an opportunity for me to work as an Au Pair with a family he knew there, meaning I would move to Paris for the upcoming school year.

Despite societal pressure to stay in school and finish on the traditional four year track, I took a leap of faith and said yes to the position. As I began planning my year abroad I feared the backlash I may receive from familial expectations surrounding school. To my surprise, I received nothing but an outpouring amount of support from my family and friends.

I moved to Paris in early September of 2015 knowing nothing more than a simple "bonjour" and "merci". I climbed the stairs to my extremely small apartment, or "chambre de bonne", immediately locked myself out of my apartment, couldn't get my WiFi to connect, and began to sob uncontrollably. I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life.

Getting through the first few weeks of jet lag, culture shock, and missing my loved ones was hard. It took effort each and every day to continue to push myself out of my comfort zone. I slowly made friends, learned the metro, and took in the amazing city I now call my second home. I learned more in my year abroad than I had in the copious amounts of miscellaneous classes I took through college. I traveled to 13 countries in my 11 months abroad with old friends and new, got to show my family around the city of love, and gained a French family I will forever get to feel a part of.

I re-enrolled in school upon my return to the states, declared my major, and cranked through an entire degree in two and a half years. Moving to Paris was the best decision I've ever made and I am so grateful and proud for who it helped me become!  Tout est possible!" -Maggie

You can follow Maggie’s journey at:

Instagram: @maggie_mack