Semester Coming to and End
It’s hard to believe that I am already reflecting upon my semester abroad. I feel like it is still September and I have the whole semester ahead of me, time sure does fly. Overall, I am extremely happy with my time in Barcelona. I got to travel around Spain and parts of Europe, meet tons of new and interesting people, and experience different cultures while learning more about my own. No matter how spectacular my time was here, there are still a few things I wish I could change.
One, I wish I had lived in the moment more. September was the most exciting month abroad. I was constantly experiencing new things; people, food, museums, languages. During these new experiences I just kept wondering and planning for what came next. For example, during La Merce I was constantly trying to fit in as many concerts as possible in one night. I wish I could go back and tell my brain to slow down to enjoy and appreciate whatever I was experiencing in that moment, instead of thinking about what concert or festival I would go to next. Two, I wish I worked a little harder to maintain new friendships. Back in August I met a great group of Spaniards in Ireland and a few of them happened to live in Barcelona. We had such an amazing time together hiking, adventuring, and going to pubs. Ironically we were even on the same flight from Dublin to Barcelona. At first I sent them a few messages to meet up here, but our plans always fell through. Eventually I gave up trying to see them again, but I wish I had kept trying. I have a few free days between my program ending and leaving Barcelona, so I think I will try to meet up with them again!
Along with my few regrets, there are a million aspects of my semester abroad that I will always remember and cherish, here are a few of my favorites. One, my relationship with my host family. I enjoyed our loud hectic family dinners together, but the time that I will cherish the most is when I was alone with each one of them. I will never forget my long lunches with Teresa on most Fridays when we would talk about dating and traveling. Or hanging out with Jofre cracking up while watching Modern Family and YouTube videos. Or my very limited time with Carla when she would ask me for advice about her boyfriend and friends. I love my host family and hope to see them again some day.
Two, my relationships with other study abroad students, American and international. I have met some pretty incredible people during this semester. I know I will not be able to see all of these people again, but they have all made an impact on my life one way or another and I hope to stay in touch with as many as possible.
Three, my time spent traveling alone. I had a few weekend trips with friends which were always fun, but the time I will really cherish is my week alone in the South of Spain. It was amazing to have complete freedom. I did not have to make any compromises on what to see or where to eat. I spent a lot of time meeting locals, reading, writing, seeing the sights. It was a time for me to get out of my comfort zone, explore on my own, and really get to know myself. I plan on doing more trips on my own in the future.
Those were just a few of my wonderful experiences here and what I am taking home with me. I also enjoyed my classes and internship here. I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to learn the language, culture, and work and live with the locals. I am leaving my semester in Barcelona as a different person with a new outlook on life. I still have two more weeks to soak up as much of Barcelona as possible, and do not worry, I definitely will be back again some day!