From Out of State to Out of the Country

Rachael Stanek
May 11, 2019

Two years ago, I made quite possibly one of the biggest decisions of my life: I enrolled in a university that was 484 miles away from my home. Looking back on it, the decision to go out of state for college changed me to become the person I am today, someone who is more independent, confident, and adventurous. As my sophomore year has just come to a close, I can safely say that my life in Lincoln is greater than I could have ever imagined. I have the most amazing and supportive friends, a boyfriend who Is there for me even when I failed a class and was certain the world was ending, and a family that’s always willing to pick up the phone, even when it’s just me asking them something completely irrelevant. Yet, the biggest realization of all is that Lincoln has finally become comfortable, which means I need to challenge myself once again.

After thinking about what my next adventure could be, I remembered all the wonderful stories that my mom had told me about her time that she spent in Alicante, Spain during her study abroad. She speaks so wonderfully of these memories that I decided I would be crazy not to attempt to have the same experience. After many conversations with both my family and my university I decided to take the leap and spend my summer studying in Barcelona, Spain. Going back to the same country that my mom visited years ago gives me the chance to have a very unique experience to relive some of the memories that she holds very fondly still to this day.

So now, I find myself in a familiar situation. I have decided to once again move to a place where I know no one, and quite frankly nothing about the city. The only difference is that this time it’s not for four years. The nerves are all the same, and the questions running through my head have not changed. Will I get along with my roommates? Will I miss home? Will I be able to visit all the places I want to? I know that this experience is going to be one that pushes me to discover myself in ways that I cannot even imagine, and I know I’ve never been so excited about something in my life. One of the things that I have found comfort in is that I know that my mom has been through this experience and will be with me in spirit throughout my whole journey. So, to end this first post of mine I have included snapshots of my life as it is right now, knowing that when my plane touches down back in the United States that I will no longer be the exact same person who boards that plane in a short ten days. I will be changed, and here’s to hoping it’s for the better. Additionally, I have included some pictures of my mom from her journey across Spain that are a clear reminder that in just over a week a will be standing on the same ground that she was.

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Rachael Stanek

<p>I am originally from Colorado but am studying Engineering at the University of Nebraska. I have found a love of traveling that has been inspired by multiple vacations that my parents took me on while growing up. One of my absolute favorite things to do while traveling is go shark diving, which I have been lucky enough to do twice! I love experiencing new things and hope to bring that sense of adventure to every aspect of my life.</p>

2019 Summer 1, 2019 Summer 2
Home University:
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Castle Pines, Colorado
Engineering - General
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