Adiós Nueva York, Hola Barcelona!

Chirlien Pang
August 29, 2016

Usually writing isn’t too difficult for me, but for some reason, trying to start this first blog post has given me some writer’s block for the past two weeks. I didn’t know how to approach the start of this blog because while I wanted to sound super excited and psyched for the upcoming semester, I also feel some apprehension and nervousness. So here I am deciding that instead of writing what I think most people want to hear, I am going the honest route (I mean, honesty is the best policy, right?).

It is crazy because I am someone who normally has no or few expectations for anything but somehow, I am surprised at where I am at the moment, because I actually expected these last few days at home to be a little different. Currently, it is 9:43am, I have exactly 2 days before I am on a plane to Barcelona, and instead of packing and running errands to prepare myself for this semester, I am sitting on my sofa drinking a hot tea to soothe my sore throat, as I watch my cousins dance and sing along to their favorite pop songs. I have a make-shift packing list next to me, but nothing has been packed yet-the suitcase hasn’t even been taken out.

Since my freshman year, I have dreamt about being able to study abroad. After seeing my sister have the best time in Italy, I knew I wanted that same experience. I also knew that studying abroad was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When else would you be able to spend four months studying in a different country? Never. After waiting for so long and prepping my academic schedule to fit in studying abroad, though, the fact that the moment of me studying abroad is so close, feels surreal. Initially, I was elated to be accepted into the program and to study abroad (I could not stop talking about it!) but as this summer has been passing by, I have been curious but also really anxious, not knowing what to expect in the coming months. Especially this week, as all my friends have been moving in back at school, getting ready for their senior year, I have had some FOMO, and a feeling of dread as to whether I had wanted the wrong thing this whole time.

Thinking about this over and over, though, I realize that as we get older, we have less and less of an opportunity to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. There are fewer first days of schools or work, fewer introductions, and to be honest, most of my interactions involve people and places I already know. So as I look back at and remember my freshman self quoting Eleanor Roosevelt again and again that year, “Do one thing every day that scares you”, I know that this decision isn’t the wrong one. So again, here I am with an open mind and heart, leaping out of my comfort zone and into uncharted territory, hoping to not only learn and be a part of a new culture, but to also grow and learn something about myself in the (hopefully) best and memorable semester yet! See you on the other side!



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Chirlien Pang

<p>Hi! My name is Chirlien and I am a native New Yorker, going to school at the at the University of Rochester. While I am a science student, I also really enjoy writing, photography,and journalism. I am so excited to be studying abroad in Barcelona this fall. Come with me on this journey as I try to learn the ropes of Barcelona&#39;s unique culture and people-hopefully I don&#39;t get too lost!</p>

2016 Fall
Home University:
University of Rochester
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