I haven't written much about my personal well-being here in Madrid. Most of my posts have been about shallow daily occurrences, or my travels. Therefore, I wanted to share a snippet of what this abroad experience has been like for me. :) Enjoy!
During my pre-departure meeting for this study abroad program all the way back in November, the coordinators told the students that we will face a pretty much constant up-and-down in our emotions while abroad. As I was preparing to come to Spain, I tried to brace myself for the cultural adjustment, but never did I think the up-and-down they talked about would actually happen in my own study abroad experience.
Many of you all know, I hit a really hard rock bottom when I first got to Spain. By far one of the saddest two weeks I went through in my (almost) 21 years of living. I was convinced that I would not make it through the semester, and I needed to come back to the States. Either I would find a way to be reenrolled at BU, or I would just simply take a semester off. I cried with friends, I cried with my parents, I even cried in front of my host mom! (So embarrassing!) My parents are not really the "give-up" type, but they were so concerned that they said if I was not feeling better about studying abroad within a week, I could come home. No questions asked.
Looking back, I'm not quite sure what made me so upset, but I like to think about it positively and say that my community back in the States is so awesome that it hurt a lot to leave it.
However, the very next week, I was feeling so much better about being in Madrid, and even though I had my anxieties, I was happy to be in Spain, and talks of coming home ceased to exist. And I owe a lot to my parents and friends who stuck with my negative self, listened to my anxieties, and prayed for me during that time. But most importantly, I thank God that He comforted me, pulled me through, forgave my unbelieving heart, and provided, like always. :)
So where am I today? Well this week has been really hectic, the weather hasn't been the best (except today...it's beautiful outside), and so my mood plummeted. I was exhausted from my Lisbon trip, I had a test to study for (the test was today), I was still feeling sick, etc. etc. It's strange because I actually had a lot of fun this week! I got treated to the fanciest dinner I have ever had in my life, I got to see my first football (soccer for you American folks), and I'm done with my exam, but I still battled with a crummy mood.
I thought to myself, what is the matter?
Well, there are a couple of factors, but one thing that I realized is that I've hit that point of the semester where the wow factor of being abroad is wearing thin, the school is still hard, and the comforts of home is sorely missed. I mean it never helps that I'm lacking sleep and that the food my host mom has cooked for me during the past couple of days hasn't been superb, but I think I'm at one of the downs that the study abroad people talked about.
But no need to fret. Even when I am downcast, I smile and laugh and enjoy my days. :) Plus, being down means you get to go back up, ANDDD plus plus, it's the weekend for me.
I hope to convey that I really am glad that I took a step of faith and came to Madrid. The process of getting to Madrid is a whole another story in itself, but just know that it was not an easy process. Despite all the trials, here I am today sitting on my bed in my new home, thankful that I am where I am.