I’ve been feeling reflective in the past few days, and have come to a conclusion. People try to force the study abroad experience into boxes. Either I’m having the time of my life, or I’m miserable. I love my friends that I’ve made here, or I am pining over those I have left in the states. I’m taking full advantage of my time here and enjoying the experiences, or am wasting my time wishing I were home with the people and places I’m comfortable with. Well it’s time for me to take a stand. This simply is not true, and it is not fair of the students abroad or the loved ones at home to assume that. Let us grow and learn without being forced to check the box everything is perfect or I hate it and I want to go home.
Now, take me for example. I LOVE Sevilla and traveling and everything (if you couldn’t tell based on my previous posts), but that doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. Of course I’ve had those times when I miss the comfort of home and I miss my friends and family every day I’m here. If I didn’t you’d think I was a little bit of a psycho-path/heartless b-word, admit it. So what do I miss? My family, my friends, healthy/diverse food, normal hot showers, you know…the usual. Especially during the *few and far between* hard times I’ve had here it has been sad to see pictures and events of everything I’m missing at F&M. Everything is more than worth it, as I’m sure almost everyone else studying abroad will agree, but the sad does exist. It wouldn’t be realistic to expect it not to.
So, to all you study-abroaders out there, those thinking about studying abroad, and those who know someone studying abroad, my message is this: you/they will love every single silly second of it, both the bad and the way more frequent good, but let yourself/them miss somethings about home too. It only enhances the experience and helps you truly grow. Love it, support it, accept it.