In order to have a good au pair year, there are a couple sacrifices that you will have to make, the first one being probably the biggest step: moving away from home and leaving everyone behind for at least a year.
But for me the biggest sacrifice actually comes after that. Sure, leaving your loved ones behind is hard and painful. But in order to really be happy in your year you need to embrace your new life in America. To do that, you will need to leave your old life behind. And while it’s only temporary and you will most likely return to your old life at home when your year is over, it’s still a very hard thing to do. You need to come to terms with your friends and family living their lives without you in it. Life goes on for them and time isn’t frozen because you’re not there. They will still do all the things you guys used to do together and it might be painful to see or hear about that. You won’t know the latest details of your best friends hook up anymore or how your mom bought a new couch for the house or how your sister has a new best friend. Sure, you’ll still be talking to each other, but it’s most likely not going to be very frequent. When you do talk you’re going to want to catch each other up on the big things and the small things, that used to be a given will be forgotten.
Change can be hard and sometimes scary. But change isn’t a bad thing. While your loved ones’ lives keep going, so does yours! You get the opportunity to create a whole new one for a year or two, make new friends, have new opportunities and experiences and become a different version of yourself. Grow and evolve, become a better and stronger person. Life doesn’t stop for you either.
And here’s the thing: most of your friends and family will still be at home, ready to embrace you with open arms once you return. Sure, not everything will be the same and they might have changed a bit. But I guarantee you that after your au pair year and all the experiences and lessons learned, you will have too.
You’ll get to know each other again, get to start again.