Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Adventures, adventures, adventures

Hello, All!

It’s been a pretty wild ride since my last post, this post is probably gonna be all over the place. Soooo buckle your seat belts, friends!

First things first: school.

As I mentioned in my last post, the strike at UADY had really thrown everything off at first in respect to trying to figure out how we were going to take classes, trying to settle in, etc. But now (halfway through the semester…), everything finally feels normal, which makes life here so much easier. Having a daily routine is what makes Mérida feel like home for me. And now that everything has settled down, I’m really satisfied with how everything turned out. We got the chance to see a little bit about how strikes work in Latin America and get a first-hand experience of some of the social tensions in Mérida and how they are dealt with. Also, I’ve absolutely loved the opportunity to see the differences between the two universities, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, a public university virtually free for students, and Universidad Modelo, a private university. They are about 5 minutes away from each other driving, but they are worlds apart. The environment, the students, the professors, the classes, everything has a completely different feel to it. And it’s been awesome having the opportunity to make friends at both.

Something that has been a little bit difficult for me since I got here is that I’ve had to adjust my studying habits and my standards for my grades…DRASTICALLY. Normally in the U.S., on week days, I do nothing but go to class, go to work, go to soccer, and study study study. My parents have always instilled in me the idea that I’m blessed to be able to go to college, an opportunity they never had, and that there’s no excuse for not doing everything I can to get the best grades I can. Here, I’ve had to repeatedly remind myself that my grades here should not be as important as enjoying myself, getting to know Mexico, and having a great experience rather than locking myself up in my bedroom doing homework. Choosing to go check out some Mayan ruins or spend the day at a cenote or go out with my friends despite having a test the day after was really hard for me to do at first, but learning to make that decision has been really, really good for me. My experience here has been amazing because of it. The thing I’m scared about is going back to UT next semester and having to go back to really worrying about my grades…but we’ll worry about that when time comes hehe.

Some of the adventures I’ve gotten to experience:

-Chichén Itzá, the famous Mayan ruins

-Uxmal, some more famous Mayan ruins (absolutely beautiful) 

-Xcaret, in the Riviera Maya, where I went snorkeling and swam with dolphins

-Grutas de Calcehtok, some caverns we got to climb through (really fun, really good workout)

-Numerous cenotes, really beautiful, natural pools

-Yaxunah, a small mayan community where we stayed for a weekend with a Mayan family and did volunteer work

Unfortunately, I have ZERO pictures to share about all my experiences because my memory on my computer got erased and I lost absolutely everything :( Terrible luck.

BUT the important thing is that I got to experience it all. AND Semana Santa is coming up next week, basically “Spring Break” in Mexico, where we have two weeks off of school. Over the course of the two weeks, I’ll visit:

-Oaxaca

-Chiapas

-Tulum

-CUBA

-CUBA (it had be said twice)

-Cancun

-Holbox

I will be completely dead returning to school the Monday after, but I can’t begin to explain how excited I am.

Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll talk about my Semana Santa a ventures!

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