(even though I still have one more exam...)
Okay. Now that I'm in a better mood, let's discuss some of my accomplishments here in Spain.
1. I've already mentioned that I'm no where near where I hoped to be language-wise, but I did improve. While improving my language was a goal, it wasn't the most important thing I came here to do. I gave it some effort, not as much as I could have, but as much as I was willing to give, and I have improved a lot. No regrets. I might try to find a few Spanish speaking friends to chat with on occasion, but I will -never- take another Spanish class. I wouldn't have believed how much I could miss science.
2. Speaking of missing science, I have learned that I am definitely on the right path. Sometimes, I would wonder if I was a science major/minor just because I could be. I can handle something like the sciences, so that's what I should do, right? It was worrisome, on occasion. The last thing you want is a midlife crisis when you've gone in debt $35,000 a year for four years. But I -love- the sciences. I gave a presentation yesterday about a new study concerning prehistoric man and how scientists have examined a bunch of skulls of the first 'homo sapiens' that appeared in Africa and have found that they were even more diverse than the humans of the world today, and we have some pretty diverse skulls, as I'm sure you've noticed. Fascinating! I went on and on (it was translation class, so we were allowed to speak in english). It was great. Language is not for me. I could do it (not very well), like I have, but I don't want to. I miss science. I cannot wait to go back to studying it.
3. I have gained my independence (mostly). Okay, right now, there is nothing I want more than to curl up on the couch with Tom or go shopping for domestics with my mother, but I've gone nearly four months without these things and I have survived. I found out that I handle life much better surrounded by my parents, my boyfriend, and my beautiful perros (they had better remember who I am when I get home!). Of course, as far as being independent of my family and boyfriend, I cheated a lot. I spent a lot of time on Skype and emailed them nearly everyday, so I did have their love and support with me via crappy Spanish internet (though, they are dependent on me too, you know, so it wasn't all just me clinging to them). And I kept a very positive attitude until the end at least... kind of had a bit of a breakdown about exams and being here this past weekend, but that was the only time, which is pretty fantastic. I have some independence and I know I can handle anything.
4. Speaking of, I have really gained some confidence. Not with Spanish, but with speaking to people, in general, with just giving up when it needs to be done, with making new friends. I'm sure I still won't be comfortable being stuck somewhere with a huge group of people I don't know, but I at least won't be on the edge, poised like a rabbit, ready to leap out the window at any second. I think I've learned to relax (not when it comes to my grades, obviously, but in every day life situations).
5. I have made some friends. Will I keep them? Tough to say. They are all really nice people, but, really, they're language majors and minors. How much do we really have in common outside of a barroom? Not that you necessarily need more in common than that when you're a college student, but... Maybe I'll try. It may end up being more of a hassle than an enjoyable friendship, as it often does, but maybe not. We'll see... The point is that I did make friends. Most people seemed to like me. There were a few that I didn't really talk with, who didn't really talk to me, but that's typical of life. I felt very different from everyone else here (for many reasons...), but I didn't feel ostracized. Just being liked in general is a very fulfilling accomplishment.
6. Umm... Five is more than enough...
Well, I have come to Spain. I have overcome the difficulty. I have grown into a more independent, more confident, more outgoing person (I think, anyway). I have had a fantastic time (mostly...) during the last semester of my undergrad. I have encountered part of the person I am striving to be: myself, only better.
Bring on the rest of life!
(And I promise I'll update about Valencia, spring break, Segovia, and the rest of my adventures when I get home!)