Reid Larsen
February 28, 2017

My biggest fear is routine -- getting stuck doing the same thing over and over until one day you look back and wonder where the time has gone. I fear looking back on my life and thinking I could’ve done more with it. That’s becoming more and more obvious here in Spain. I feel like I’ve learned and done as much this past month and a half as I have the past year or two at home. Why? Probably because I’m here in a new city, with easy access to a lot of cool places, and basically zero responsibility.


This environment has allowed me to reflect a lot and travel more than I ever have. It may sound like I’m just rubbing it in, but I’m not trying to, I just don’t think I’ve ever been happier. One of the biggest things I’ve learned, cliché as it may be, is that time goes by so fast, so you have to make the most of it. It’s not that I’m necessarily learning that this common thought is true, but rather I’m learning how to actually make the most of my time. I look back on parts of my life, not with regret, but with plans to live a different life when I get home. Not that I am a totally new person now but that I want to do more with my life.


Especially at Michigan, it’s a grind to be a student. Believe me it’s fun, but a lot of it is the same: go to class, study, hang out a little at night, and then when weekend comes around, we go out and watch football games. There’s a lot of repetition. With Spain, I’m aware that I have a finite amount of time here, so I’m doing my best to visit every corner of the city, every hidden bar, and all the best tapas restaurants. On weekends, I’ve been to Portugal, Morocco and London and I always make sure to try the local food, especially if it's something I wouldn't normally eat. It has made life fly by but it has also filled it with so many memories. Just this past weekend, returning back from Morocco, my friend remarked that being in Spain, just three days earlier, felt like a lifetime ago. And it did!


My point here isn’t that everything is great here, but rather that life can be like this all the time. There’s so many things I’ve wanted to do like this in Michigan but I don’t because it’s not part of my routine. There’s an awesome bowling alley; I’ve only been once. There are countless amazing restaurants in Ann Arbor; I’m addicted to Chipotle, so I always go there. I’ve always wanted to play poker at the casinos in Canada, to see the stars in the forest of the Upper Peninsula and to go boating at my friend’s house in Grand Rapids, but still, I’ve never done any of this. Even just going out with a new group of people on a Friday night would be a great way to have new experiences. Change is great! It gets you out of your comfort zone and lets you learn about things that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to it. It’s allowed me to realize some things that I don’t like about back home, but also a lot more things I love that I’ve taken for granted. 


While I do feel like my time here is flying by way too fast, and I am a little scared to go home, I’m also excited to do more; I’m excited to mix it up and to fight the pressure of getting stuck in the daily grind. Life’s a lot more fun that way…


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Reid Larsen

<p>There&rsquo;s nothing like late night, deep talks, and solving the world&rsquo;s problems. In Madrid, I&rsquo;m looking to learn as much as I can, get to know as many people as I can, and get outside my comfort zone as much as I can. Come join the adventure.</p>

2017 Spring
Home University:
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Engineering - General
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