Before leaving for Spain, I binge-read as many travel/study abroad blogs as possible and read countless buzz-feed type articles with titles like “10 Things To Expect From Studying Abroad” and “The 15 Things Nobody Said Would Happen When Studying Abroad”. I did my research, I read first-hand experiences, I watched Youtube videos. I was prepared … or so I thought.
The truth is that nobody can really prepare you for what it will feel like to move 3,777 miles across an ocean away from your family, friends, and everything you considered normal.
I’ve never really been one to feel homesick … but I realized that’s because the only people I ever miss at school are my parents, who are only a 3-hour drive away. But being in Spain … I miss literally everyone and everything. I’m away from my parents, my brothers, my friends, my classes, my comedy groups, my piano, my ukulele, my cats, my campus, my DOMINOES (I can use dining dollars from my meal plan to pay for pizza back home — dear GOD how I miss that).
And I’m not putting down Spain, regretting my decision, or wishing I was home. Knowing what I know now, I still would’ve chosen to study abroad. I undoubtedly love it here and grow to love it more every single day. But there’s just something so odd about being ripped out of everything familiar and placed into a new city with new people, new buildings, a new school, and a new language.
Last week I was plagued with a serious bout of homesickness. Everything I looked at reminded me of home or of school. I cried quite a few times.
I was convinced that everyone back home was forgetting about me, that nobody wanted to skype me, that everyone was becoming better friends with each other than with me, that they were realizing they didn’t even like me.
I saw pictures of parties, read stories about homecoming (hate that I missed it), watched videos of friends. I wished desperately to be home.
And then I realized, like always, I was being irrational. Of course my friends miss me, of course they want to skype, of course they still like me! People back home have classes, extra-curriculars, lives. I’m jealous of all of them having fun at school? They’re probably jealous of me, basking up the Sevillian sun (85 degrees and up, baby), touring around Europe (and Morocco), eating churros and helado and tapas like it’s my job — basically on vacation.
And, of course, a little present from my Mom helped to cheer me up as well.
A surprise box with too much chocolate, just enough cheesy cracker snacks, too little peanut butter, and, Lord save us all, NUTS! NUTS! NUTS!. I haven’t had nuts since leaving the US, and let me tell you how nice it felt to have those little suckers in my mouth again (that’s what she said).
And then, to finalize the end of my homesickness, Lauren came to visit!
One of my bestest friends ever, Lauren is studying in Prague at the moment and came all the way from the Czech republic to see me! She’s the best!
I cried when I saw her.
Food and sweet notes from Mom are definitely helpful, but nothing beats seeing an actual, live person that you’ve been missing. What a precious stone, that one!
A weekend with some much-needed girly catch-up and all the helado you can imagine.
Lauren has a blog as well! You can check it out at: www.czechoutthepragueblog.blogspot.com.
See you cats l8r (and please enjoy the above incredibly creepy picture of a baby. I cannot be stopped.)