Hello! Now in English because I’m officially done with my study abroad semester and back in the United States. It’s pretty crazy that it’s all over, it went by CRAZY fast. For my blog back home I think I’ll just talk about my overall experience and what it’s been like to be back home. First, I just wanna say my study abroad time was amazing and easily some of the best months of my life. I know, everyone talks about studying abroad and traveling in general and says how it opens up your mind and changes your perspective. Super cliché but also SO true.
If you’ve read some of my other blogs then you have some idea of how my time went in Madrid, so I won’t talk too much about that. I do want to come back to where I was before I studied abroad though. Before going to Madrid, I had only ever been in the U.S. and in Mexico, and only because I lived there. I hadn’t done much traveling at all, and lived a fairly humble life. I did feel like I was sort of limited sometimes in the experiences I could have, so that’s why I tried really hard to make study abroad work. I had also just gone through the end of a long-term relationship that I thought had a lot more potential. Overall, I felt very nervous and there were a lot of negative emotions going on before I left.
Even though I had some personal things going on, and of course with COVID things are crazy for everyone, I’m really glad I decided to still go abroad. Honestly, leaving the country for a couple of months and meeting new people, seeing new things, and experiencing new adventures was the best option I could’ve hoped for. Obviously, it was a nice distraction from the breakup, and a good way to move forward and work through all of that. Being abroad did open up my perspective and allowed me to be okay with everything and know that there is so much out there not only in terms of people but also just in terms of all the amazing things that are still out there waiting for me.
I felt like yeah, this situation sucks, and I’m sure there are other people who go study abroad with baggage too who can maybe relate to this, but for me I realized that while there’s always gonna be some moments or times when we feel sad or disappointed or discouraged, there are going to be so many more moments that make us happy and excited and hopeful if we give ourselves the chance. It was really healing, which is what I was hoping for, but even more than that it was enlightening. I always thought traveling might be something I enjoy because I’ve always been interested in different cultures and architectures and languages. Now that I’ve been able to travel a little bit I can’t wait to explore even more!
Now that I’m back home it truly feels like a dream when I think about the past couple of months. I got to see things I never thought I’d have the opportunity too. I also met incredible people, and learned so much. One thing I learned from being in Europe is that not everything has to be about making money, getting a job, having nice cars or houses, etc. If that’s what you want, good for you! But if not that’s also okay. I spent a lot of time in the park just sitting and thinking, and usually in the U.S. I’d feel guilty doing that because it’s time I’m not working. In Madrid though, it felt so normal. It was beautiful to just take in the moment and appreciate what’s around me.
I remember seeing a group of older people who were at the park just laughing, talking, walking, living. I have no idea how much money any of them made, or what kinda job they had, or what car they drove, but they genuinely looked happy. People say “it’s the little things” that make life beautiful, and this hasn’t been any clearer to me than now, after my time in Madrid. Thanks to studying abroad, my heart is healed, my mind is open, and my spirit is hopeful. I really got so much more than I expected out of studying abroad. I could not recommend it enough. If you’re on the fence, DO IT! And with that I end my last blog. Adiós, gracias por leer mi blog!
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<p>Hi, I’m Melanie! I’m a senior at Carnegie Mellon University, majoring in Physics. After graduation, I plan on attending graduate school in pursuit of a Ph.D. in Physics. While I love STEM, I also love the arts! I’m part of an a cappella group, I’m in my school’s non-major orchestra as a violinist, I like to draw and paint, and I’ve dabbled in some dance too. It’s important for me to keep a balance between all my interests, which also include working out (at the gym only - I am NOT athletic, unfortunately) and outdoor activities that don’t involve swimming since that’s something I can’t do. I know, shame. I’m really looking forward to exploring all my hobbies and interests in the context of a new culture. I am fluent in Spanish since I was raised in Mexico so Spain will be full of possibilities!</p>