I was getting chocolate con churros with one of my friends here for the last time tonight, and she mentioned the fact that she will be back at home in 4 days. Wow, I guess I don’t think it had really hit me yet because I will still be running around Europe for the next three weeks with my family…but the end is here.
I made it!!
I don’t know about anyone else, but I think I deserve some props for surviving in a foreign country by myself for the past 4 months! (Mom and Dad, maybe buy me an extra beer to celebrate???)
Before stepping foot on the airplane that would eventually take me to Madrid, my head was constantly filled with people’s stories about how wonderful their time studying abroad had been, how they were so jealous of me, and how they all knew that I was going to thrive and love my time here. And yes, some parts of that are very true and I have some great memories with some really cool people here, but there are also a lot of things no one ever told me before I left so I thought I would share a few with you now…
- It is amazing to see how the love and care of family and friends from home will continue to shine through and get you through the really rough days (because you will have them).
- A best friend is the same no matter where you see them.
- It is EXHAUSTING to try to think in another language all day and it is such a comfort to overhear people talking in English.
- It is not easy.
- Crying at the grocery store because you can’t find anything is okay. You’ll figure it out soon.
- Spend the 10 euros to buy a milkshake and french fries from Five Guys. Comfort food is such a real and important thing.
- Don’t be afraid to lean on others…we have all had very rough days but they are much easier with other people.
- Be proud of yourself for the small accomplishments (like taking the Metro without getting lost).
There is a common stereotype that people will return from studying abroad enlightened, ready to leave America, and change the world. I know that as I return home and really have a chance to reflect on my time here, I may begin to feel many of those emotions. But right now I can’t wait to get a back massage from my mom and talk to strangers in English!
Time to stop procrastinating and crank out my finals before Uncle John and Aunt Tarren arrive in a week! (p.s. I’ll finish adding my pictures to Facebook soon!)
Hasta Luego ❤