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S ometimes (okay, most of the time) song lyrics are cheesy and cliché and etc., etc., etc. However, this week, they have been helping me adjust and set goals for the next few months.

Although “home is wherever I’m with you,” as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros made clear a couple of years ago, it’s also important to live in the moment and to appreciate your surroundings — whether you’re in a hotel in Paris or a dorm room in Boulder.

I have been struggling with homesickness and loneliness the last few days. I’ve been doing really awesome things, but I’ve been doing most of them by myself. Although I’ve made friends with some of the people in my program, it’s not the same as the people from Boulder who have been my best friends for the last two years.

Despite being in Paris — my light, my love — I have been, in all honestly, a little bit bummed out this week. Sunday night, I found motivation and passion, and gawrsh dernit, I’m turning things around.

If you know me at all, you know that I absolutely love Mumford & Sons. Part of the chorus of their song, “Sister,” says, “If you want to feel alive then learn to love your ground.”

Well, enough moping. I am learning to love my ground.

French culture and consumption is very much tied to a sense of place. What makes wine or cheese special here is not entirely based on whether it tastes good or how expensive it is — it’s where the product comes from, who made it and how it was made.

Each region of France has its own specialty, its own way of life.

These ways of life lead to the creation of thousands of varieties of incredible products.

With my French language classes this week, we visited a fromagerie and learned about how cheese is made. I was skeptical before we went, but after hearing what Stéphane, the proprietor, had to say about cheese, it was clear — he was passionate about his craft and its origins. While ingredients and method are significant, passion and place are the most important parts of life in France.

From making cheese, to eating dinner, to appreciating art, or even having seemingly neverending conversations about n’importe quoi, Parisians as a whole take the time to appreciate whatever they are doing and whomever they are with.

In all the rush and chaos of the transition of the last two weeks, I forgot about my passions. Instead, I focused on making as many friends as I could and doing a whole bunch of “cool things” in as little time as possible. This led to me feeling burned out, lonely, and frustrated.

I was so homesick this week and really looking forward to moving in with my host family. The day came for us to receive our assignments, but along with the great news of the woman I will be living with was a bad side — an architect, she would be out of town on business.

After being so excited and so ready to get out of Bercy, the area where my hotel is, I had to return to the hotel, bring my bags back upstairs and set myself up again for another four days.

The disappointment was overwhelming, and although I was happy to know where I was going to be living, going back to Bercy put me in a terrible mood. I sulked all of Friday and most of Sunday, until “Sister” came on my iTunes Sunday evening.

“If you want to feel alive then learn to love your ground.”

I pulled myself away from the computer and went for a long walk in search of dinner. After an hour of walking, I found a café with great prices and French pickup lines painted on the ceiling.

My waitress offered me a menu in English, but when I told her I was here to learn French, she spent the rest of the meal helping me better understand the language.

The food was incredible, and when I asked her which wine would go best with the meal I ordered, the passion in her voice reminded me again of the importance of loving my ground.

Feeling renewed, I’m excited to have started my new classes this week, and I can’t wait to move in with my hostess. I’m really looking forward to familiarizing myself with my new neighborhood and to continue learning to appreciate the people I meet and the time I spend here.

Jessica Ryan is a junior media studies major at CU-Boulder. She writes about study abroad experiences once a week for the Colorado Daily. On Twitter: @JessicaLRyan.