Find a way to balance your live(S). Yes plural, because the life you have abroad does not compare to your collegiate career and vica versa.
I often catch myself going on and on to friends at home about my life here and some get it, while others ask me if I am tired of reading all the time or sitting at a coffee shop listening to French all day long. Sometimes it’s actually nice to not have to be the person you were back in the States, for good or bad reasons.
Abroad you are often alone and have the ability to give your best self to the new teammates you have or new friends you make. You come over with no preconceived opinions or notions about who you are as a person and can really create a great image for American Athletes for the people you encounter. It’s a great opportunity if you see it that way.
I’ve used my 2 seasons abroad to find out what my strengths and weaknesses are in life and to find out how to capitalize on the positive and harness the negative. For me getting through the long season is positive thinking, never letting the dark times creep too far into the forefront of your mind. Times are hard away from family, friends, and native english speakers. Be courageous and find another outlet, connect with an expat community, local university, or church group.
I’ve been lucky enough to have an “American Family” in both cities I’ve lived in and they’ve saved me. Always inviting me to come over for dinner or to go grocery shopping with them. At the end of the day it’s the little things that matter most, and your happiness solely relies on you and your desire to make the most of where you are. I absolutely believe in the quote, “wherever you are, be all there.” People would kill for the opportunity we have playing professionally in a foreign country, we get the best of both worlds, sports & endless travel. Never forget why you started playing and what it feels like to win, it will all be over before you know it.