Diversity Abroad – Blog

Adjusting to Semester at Sea


As I am sitting in Berlin Restaurant on this ship at 10pm polishing off some homework I am reflecting on my time on the ship. It’s been about a month since I’ve embarked on this journey and I think I can accurately discuss how I’ve adjusted to ship life and the SAS experience in general. At my home institution, I have a schedule, I like to plan when to eat in between classes, when to do my homework, work schedule, and any extra activity commitments. It’s a system that works for me and at the end of each day I feel like I’ve gotten a lot accomplished. Trying to plan on this trip is totally different. I tried for a while to make a tight schedule so I can be on top of things but it’s hard. There are positives like being able to look at the ocean as I write a reflection or watching the sunset fade into the sea as I head to a club meeting but it’s more than that. In between my classes I may grab a quick lunch or try to get in a little homework, then after a day full of classes I’ll have club meetings or two. If you are involved at your home institute it is easy to want to get really involved here because there are a lot of different clubs. I am in the Black Student Union, Hip Hop Dance, and Diversity and Inclusion and I enjoy all of them and the different view points I get to hear from. They also have seminars or movies that are presented that takes up time so sometimes its difficult to decide if I want to go to a BSU meeting or watch Zootopia. At the same time, I often find myself with nothing to do. There may be a period of time when I’m trying to find something to do because I don’t have enough time to take a nap or get any real work done so I just relax. I either feel overloaded with things to do or underwhelmed because I cant go out and explore outside of the ship. So far there have only been two days in between each port and instead of having the weekend to recuperate from the exciting week in port and prepare for assignments we are thrown right into class. There is no time to be fully committed to one or the other. Either you are enjoying your time in port or you are staying up late at night trying to pack in a weeks worth of reading and delayed homework assignments. It can be very stressful; however, its slowly getting easier to manage and soon I will be an expert explorer/student. One thing I can say for sure is that Semester at Sea is a very unique experience that is helping me grow into a more open minded and cultured person so overcoming a few challenges along the way is worth it.