Meredith M. is currently a junior at SYA Spain and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Milton Academy in Massachusetts.
“The whole future lives in uncertainty, live immediately.” - Seneca
Dear future self,
Right now, I am in my first (kind of) English class at SYA. By the time I read this, I will have already completed all of my courses here and experienced all of the doubts that I am thinking about right now. Before coming to Spain, I put the quote above into my notes app on my phone. I think I mainly did it because I wanted to be the type of person who has a signature mantra. But also, because it truly encompasses what I hope to get out of the experience. Instead of only worrying about what is to come in the future, I want to be able to truly live in the moment. I hope that after my time here, I have gained more perspective and confidence that allows me to “live immediately.”
I wrote this letter to myself during my first week in Zaragoza. I don’t remember much from the first two weeks of SYA, but from what I have gathered from old journal entries and notes to self, I was terrified. My Spanish was subpar, and I spent most of September with my brain in overdrive, desperately trying to piece together sentences and comprehend conversations. Change was everywhere—at night, I slept in a new bed, and in the morning, I woke up in a new house. I experienced moments of doubt, in which I wondered if I had made the right decision, if I was even “cut out” to leave my family, my home, my friends. But, to be honest, life here moved too fast for me to dwell on these worries and insecurities. And soon, as the months passed, my doubts were left behind as I tried to catch up with time, to stop it from moving away from me so fast. The months began to feel shorter and shorter, and before I knew it, a new anxiety had grabbed hold of me: How am I supposed to leave this place? So, to help myself grapple with this overbearing question, I wrote myself another letter. This time, a farewell.
This whole year has felt—and still feels—never-ending, a weird type of temporary permanence. With about two weeks left, it should hit me that I am leaving soon. Yet, I am unable to comprehend that ending. There are moments, of course, very short and small, in which I can feel it. I can picture myself sitting in the kitchen at home, listening to dad’s music. But those moments are fleeting. I mean, I always carry with me a vague sense of gratitude in everything I do these days. I know that this is the best thing I have ever done for myself. And I chose it. Not my parents, not anyone else, but me. But now, I’m scared. Funny right? I was so nervous to come here, and now I’m terrified to leave. I’m in English Class right now. To my right is Mary, and to my left, is Brookelynn. They, like all of SYA Spain 2022, have become my family here. I am so incredibly sad to leave this experience behind, but I am also so incredibly proud that I have lived it and taken advantage of the present, living immediately.
Ha sido un placer,
It is hard to clearly see personal growth, but I can see it pretty evidently in the difference between these two letters. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to experience such an amazing year, even if it means I now have to leave it all behind. Gracias por todo, adios.
- Campus Reporters
- SYA Spain