I think the hardest part of my entire study abroad experience, even more so than adjusting to a new culture and a new place, was realizing that I’d eventually have to come home. Of course, I was incredibly excited to see my friends and family. Yet, it was a weird feeling that everything I’ve done for myself these past few months, all the friendships I’ve built and the place I’ve found for myself, would suddenly disappear. More than anything, I was scared that I would never see Argentina again, these people again, this part of myself again.
I wished for more time. I had 18 days left. I remember waking up in the morning, getting ready for class, and casually checking my email. And there it was… an email reminding me that I cannot change the scheduled date of my exam at my university, UCA. The pieces started coming together. Since Day 1 of my class, Psychology of Personality, I thought my exam was June 25th, the last day of class. My study abroad program warned us that the exams may fall after the end date of our program. I looked at the syllabus, and in the carefully organized grid of dates and corresponding assignments, it looked like our exam happened to be on June 25th. Wrong. Veryyyy wrong. One week before, I wondered why the professor stillll hadn’t mentioned the exam requirements. I also wondered why my friends weren’t studying at all for our exam. I was studying frantically and didn’t feel the least bit ready.
I got two of my wishes. Our exam was July 16th, almost a month later. This meant two things: I would have tons of time to study, and I would also be changing my plane ticket. Of course, my parents weren’t too thrilled at my huge mistake, and I felt terrible that I didn’t realize this earlier. Luckily, it wasn’t expensive to change my ticket, and the study abroad program arranged for continued housing with no extra cost for academic conflicts like this.
I can’t help thinking that it all happens for a reason. This was my favorite class, probably one of my favorites of all time. It opened my eyes to the world, and to myself. I also met my best friends, who I know I’ll stay close with for years to come.
In the beginning of my program, if I would have known the exam date, I probably would have chosen a different class that ended by the program deadline, just because it would have been easier. Yet, it’s crazy to think how such a small decision can make the biggest difference. I thought of the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (one of my favorites!), where each moment, each decision, influences another. It starts as a random decision. And even though it turned into a pretty big mistake, I wouldn’t change it for the world. But life being what it is – a series of intersecting lives and incidents – sometimes it all happens for a reason.