You will never be able to relive this exact moment

Beatriz Cavalcante
June 19, 2017

Yesterday I was sitting on my sofa at my house here in the U.S., with my phone on my hands I decided to navigate my Facebook timeline as the majority of us does when we are bored. One of the friends I made while studying abroad in Barcelona had posted a picture with his family. The picture was beautiful, but it's curious how seeing that picture made me reflect on the time we were abroad.

I'm not going to lie, often simple things of my day-to-day make me stop and reflect, but during the time that I lived in Barcelona that happened very frequently. It's funny because while being in Barcelona was one of the most fun and happy moments of my life it was also a time of a lot of growing and serious reflecting, and not only to me but also to my friends who were experiencing life abroad. Weekday lunches would result in deep conversations; we always wanted to know how each one of us was adapting to being away, living in a foreign country.

I really did make amazing and meaningful friendships while studying abroad, experiencing living by yourself in a foreign country is a challenge and having people going through the same experience to share your feelings is comforting. You create an incredible bond from a friendship that is built upon moments that you show your vulnerable side, and I promise you will grow and evolve during your abroad experience and so will your friendship.

So going back to my friend's picture, we had class every day together at IES Abroad Barcelona, but we really started to get to know each other two weeks after the program began, during an "IES Abroad discovery" trip. I remember we bonded over the feeling of excitement of the unknown since we had just moved to Spain and we couldn't wait to see all of the things that the future had in storage for us. We talked about places that we wanted to visit in Barcelona -- places that at the end of the program we called "our places." We talked about our families, while we reminded ourselves that we should probably call and message our parents more often. As the days went by we embarked on our adventures and every now and then we would have one of those profound "checkup" conversations about how life in Spain was being for each other. 

When I saw his picture with his family last Sunday a movie went through my head; I remembered our first conversation about what we were expecting of living abroad to our last conversation of how the past few months had changed us. And then I realized, something that is as sad as it is exciting: I will never be able to relive the moments we had while living abroad. The Spring 2017 IES Abroad Barcelona program will never repeat itself. We will never be in the same classes together, with the same professors, all in the same city, living the same moment. You can never relive a moment, not even this moment while I write this post that you are currently reading. And yes, that is a little sad. I already miss my friends, our classes, our days, "my" Barcelona. And it will never be the same. But then the exciting part comes, I know I will live other amazing experiences, and so will my friends, and maybe we will have other amazing experiences together - we are already planning on it.

But what I mean is, make everyday count. Because it does count, so try to make these days memorable because those are the memories you will hold to when you reminisce about your study abroad experience. No, I'm not saying that you should only have happy moments, so you can cherish exclusively happy memories, because not even if you wanted you would be able to create solemnly "pleasant" memories. As you might have noticed by reading this post, the memories of having deep conversations with my friends (which weren't always happy and positive conversations) are what really made us bond and ultimately what made us grow. So embrace the moments you live, each one of them, cherish the opportunities you've been awarded and I hope that when you look back to these moments, you will be proud of what you have accomplished and ready to create various other amazing memories to hold to. 

Love, Bea. 

Beatriz Cavalcante

<p>My name is Beatriz, but most people call me Bia/Bea. I'm an IES Abroad alumni from the Barcelona liberal arts and business program from the Spring 2017 term. Studying abroad had such a fantastic impact in my life that I decided to do it again, during my last semester of college!</p>

2017 Spring, 2018 Spring
Home University:
Hofstra University
São Paulo, Brazil
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