My first semester in Saint Petersburg had many ups and downs. It is an opportunity I will forever be grateful for, but it was honestly a rough semester. Originally, I had not planned on coming home between semesters; however, I decided it was best for my mental health to do so. This was an amazing decision. Being home gave my brain the mental “reset” it needed to prepare for my second semester in Saint Petersburg. I was able to spend lots of quality time with family and friends, which was much-needed after my time in Russia. Sometimes, you need a break — and that’s okay. Homesickness and struggling is to be expected when abroad, so in hindsight I don’t feel bad for going home over Christmas break. When I made the decision to do so, however, I felt like a complete and total failure. Now I am back in Petersburg and doing well, so my time here has obviously not been a failure. Sometimes, it’s all about perspective.