As I sit here in the BCN airport at 6:32 a.m. preparing for my flight home, I’m forced to think back on my abroad experience feeling incredibly full and satisfied. Studying abroad was probably the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Not only did I gain worldly experience but I also gained newfound independence, which I didn’t really expect to be so new to me.
Coming from New York, I am no stranger to independence. I grew up taking the subway to and from school alone at a young age, as well as other miscellaneous adventures that I would do alone. I loved being able to have this independence and I didn’t realize that there was so much more to gain. Traveling abroad provided me with the confidence to be able to make snap decisions in desperate times, to plan accordingly and in depth, to become acclimated with new people who may not even speak my language, and so much more.
I find that the independence I gained was one of the most rewarding aspects of abroad. It feels good to be able to say that I traveled Europe every weekend while being a student and simultaneously having a job. I was able to pack up my belongings in just a little backpack (in order to yield from the extra charge of a large carry on). I was also able to confidently take on new endeavors in every place that I visited. Being able to map out what to do with my day and conquering it never failed to bring a smile to my face.
When I look back on this experience, I not only will think about the places I saw and the new friends I made, but I will also be able to praise myself for the tasks that I have taken on successfully. I can't help but think, “What’s better than this?” “What can beat this?” It worries me that I have just finished one of the most exciting and fulfilling chapters in my life. However, what comforts me are the tools and the memories that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my life. The mentality to just go and do it! This will help guide me with future journeys whether they be by plane or even by soul.
Although I am filled with a multitude of different emotions, I truly cannot wait to get home and tell my loved ones about the time that I had abroad and I can't wait for them to see the beautiful impact that it has had on me. However tough it may be to leave this all behind, I'm starting to get comftorable with the idea of being home rather than in Europe. The culture shock that I will endure will definitley take some getting used to. Figuring out my new place in society post abroad will be an exciting adventure but nevertheless, slightlty intimidating.
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<p>Noa Solomon is an avid sports enthusiast, foodie and animal lover. She studies at the University of Wisconsin as a Journalism major where she excersises her passion for writing, as well as double minoring in sports communication and special education. She was born and raised a city girl, coming from the big apple itself, Manhattan, New York. She studied at the Professional Performing Arts School in Times Square as a drama major for 7 years and continues to participate in acting as much as she can. She was just featured in the 90s teen comedy film Generation Wrecks as Brittney Pratt this past September.</p>