What I'm Thinking

The Croatian countryside
The view outside of the Flixbus in Zadar County, Croatia.

My summer travels in Europe has finally come to an end. The past month has been quite a whirlwind. After meeting up with friends in Paris, I flew to Prague for the next week. Then, I took a Flixbus down to Vienna to visit for a few days, and then visited a friend in Graz. Afterwards, I travelled to Tisno, Croatia for a music festival and explored more of Croatia for the following two weeks. Finally, I spent my last week in Europe in Budapest.

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Views of Paris
Views of Paris on top of Arc de Triomphe.

Over the past month, I continued my travels in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and France. I flew into Gothenburg, Sweden to meet some friends for midsommar, a traditional Swedish celebration of the summer solstice. After exploring Sweden, I took the train to Denmark to visit Copenhagen, and then explored two German cities. For the last stop of this leg of the trip, I met up with some friends from college for a long weekend in Paris to celebrate La Fête Nationale—France’s national day, known as Bastille Day in English. Unexpectedly, the final game of the world cup fell on that weekend, and our stay in France took a turn for the chaotic.

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Wawel Castle
The courtyard of Wawel Castle in Kraków.

For the past three weeks, I’ve been traveling around Poland. I flew from Brussels to Kraków on Wednesday, May 30, and stayed there for an entire week. After that, I visited Wrocław for six nights, and Warsaw for five nights. Finally, I stopped by Toruń for one night and Gdańsk for two nights.

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Me on the IAmsterdam sign

A quick update: three weeks ago, I graduated from college. I did the ceremonies, took some pictures with family, and after four years of college I finally left Champaign-Urbana. To celebrate, I planned a trip around most of the European continent for the summer.

On Wednesday, May 16, I flew into Amsterdam to start the trip. In the following two weeks, I’ve also travelled to Noordwijk aan Zee, Utrecht, Eindhoven, Antwerp, and Ghent.

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It’s finally happening! After this week, I will have wrapped up four years of college to graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

During my college career, I’ve learned a lot about myself and my interests, and overall I’m pretty happy about it. However, I wish that I was given some advice back before freshman year. So with the knowledge and experience that I have four years later, here are the things I would tell my freshman-year self.

The advice here is mainly tailored toward computer science students, but I think they’re still generally applicable to all incoming freshmen.

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