Janae-Rose F. is currently a sophomore at SYA Spain and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Charlotte Country Day School in North Carolina.
Imagine this: I’m on a plane in one of my last solitary moments before arriving home. The past three days have been a whirlwind of hasty goodbyes, buying extra suitcases, and making plans. I have no idea how the next hour is going to go, moreover the rest of my year. I’m leaving one country in crisis to go to an altered, shut down version of my home that I’ve been longing after for months. Weirdly, in all of that, I feel calm.
Maybe I felt calm because I was so grateful for what Spain has already given me. I did not get to say a proper goodbye to Zaragoza. In some ways, I’m still in the process of saying it. The good thing is that even if I stayed, I never would have had to completely say goodbye. Not to be too sappy, but I always carry Zaragoza in the memories, good and bad, and my friends and host family. I have already experienced so much growth and gained so much knowledge in my 6-months in Spain it is unbelievable. Despite not staying for the length of time expected, I am full of lessons, moments, and memories that will serve me for the rest of my life.
Maybe it was because I was going home to my wonderful family. This year was a year of
transitions for everybody because my sister went off to her freshman year of college. We would
be back at home together for the first time since August. Of course, I was bummed out about
being in quarantine for two weeks after, but I also saw it as an opportunity to spend time with my
family and make them do all my wacky bonding activities. I knew that home would be a safe
space for me to go through my emotions without judgment. I know I’ve said this in other posts,
but SYA is hard. So while I was mourning my last three months, I was content to return to a
more familiar terrain.
Whatever it was, I appreciated whatever was giving me my inappropriately calm disposition.
Now, I’ve been at home in Charlotte, North Carolina for 3 weeks. I haven’t preserved that calm
attitude at all times, but I’m okay. Online classes have started, so I still feel connected to my
teachers and peers. I watch the Spanish TV shows I used to watch with my host family to keep
practicing. Against the advice of seemingly every lifestyle blogger/influencer ever, I don’t have a
daily routine, but I’m fine. I am exploring myself and my new hobbies. In a way, being at home
has worked as a good period to reflect and process my experience instead of just jumping into
my old life. I’ve changed, and now I’m using this time to see what that means for me and my life.
The saddening reality has set in that this is the last time I’ll communicate with you guys. My final
message for y’all is this: If you’re considering SYA and you need a sign to tell you to go, this is
it. It’s hard and messy and weird but will also teach you in the most unexpected ways. Yes,
there are some moments that I hated, but I wouldn’t take them back for anything. SYA isn’t
perfect, but it’s pretty amazing. What I’m trying to say is, do SYA, even if you struggle, you won’t
regret it or the lessons you’ll learn.
- Campus Reporters
- SYA Spain