I’ve Never Really Left Home, So Here Goes Everything

    This article will be the first of many in a series I have decided to write based on my experiences with study abroad. Next semester, I will be studying in Granada, Spain from the end of January through May. Studying in Spain has always been a goal of mine and as excited as I am, I am probably a hundred times more nervous. 

    I have never really left home. When I came to college I experienced a burst of independence living separately from my family, but how independent can I actually be since I went to a college that is only ten minutes away from my parents’ house? Anytime there’s been more than a slight inconvenience, I have had this safety net of knowing that they are right there if needed. In Spain, they will be a $600 plane ride away if I need to see them. Very different than what I am used to. 

    In addition to my immediate family-- my parents and my brother-- I have never really been away from my friends. I have always had such a strong support network with friends in all my classes, in my apartment, across the street, etc. Leaving all of this means I will have to create a new network of friendships to turn to in search of support and good times. I am sure I will find it, but I will also have to constantly remind myself that it might take time. I place heavy value on friendships and I know I might stress myself out if I do not find my “Spain Friend Group” immediately. Probably my biggest saving grace in this will be the fact that I have one of my best  friends, Tabatha, also attending the same Spanish university with me! It will be absolutely amazing to know someone who has the same connection to home as I do. 

    As if friends and family weren’t going to be enough to miss, I have a boyfriend--Josh. He is an amazing boyfriend and we will have been dating for about 8 months upon my departure. We will be long distance for four months, which doesn’t sound like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but to us it will feel like so much more. (Shit even as I am writing this I am almost breaking into tears in my Microeconomics Final Exam Review). Long distance is going to suck but I 110% want to get through it with him because I am absolutely head over heels in love with him. He’s perfect for me. 

    My people in the US are what I will miss the most on this trip, but I wouldn’t be going if I didn’t think it would  be worth it to find my independence, explore a new place and culture, and expand everything I know about my world. I keep having to tell myself that all the nerves and the fact that I will definitely miss everyone, will be worth the experience. I’m not ready, but I’m going. Here goes everything, I am putting my all into this chapter of my life.