About two weeks ago, our Program Director, Mario, had us over to his apartment for dinner. We discussed how the program had been going, how we were feeling about our classes, our Spanish, each other, etc. He asked us if we thought the final two months of our program were going to fly by, and of course we all said yes. He laughed and told us that we were wrong; we had spent the past three months figuring out the best places to go for everything: lunch, coffee, helado, cheap clothes, good places to study, everything. Now that we had everything figured out, our time would pass much more slowly. With all of this extra time we had, he proposed, we should find something that was solely ours. Take a class, play a sport on a rec team, whatever. Get in touch with Argentines and also yourself. However, he warned, don’t sign up together. You have classes together, and I’m sure you hang out on the weekends. “Find something that’s just for you,” he said.
This was an exciting proposition for me because one of the things that’s been really good for me here was being able to find a good balance between time alone and time spent with others, and it’s surprisingly hard to make friends if you don’t go to school or work with them. I’m definitely an introvert; I need my alone time to recharge, and it’s not pretty if I don’t get it. It’s hard, though, to figure out how much time is me recharging, how much of it is getting comfortable with solitude, and how much is too much. The other thing is it gives me is an opportunity to practice my Spanish with native speakers – Not that Alicia (my Host Mom) isn’t great to practice with, but she has unending amounts of patience that most of the people out on the street do not.
At this point, I’m not really sure what my thing is yet. I’m thinking of joining a coro (choir), but I’m not sure. I have started seeking out The Best Cup of Coffee in Buenos Aires, and it’s shocking how friendly people are in cafes, so I’m getting to actually converse with Argentines, and I’m always doing that solo, so maybe, inadvertently, that’s become my thing. Whatever I choose to find for myself; I know I’ll be happy doing it, for one of the most important things I’ve learned in my time here is to not waste time doing things that don’t make you happy.
(END SAPPY POST)
Up next on Susannah’s Study Abroad Adventures: Several day trips, a visit from the parents, and things you don’t realize you need to know when studying abroad!