Counting down; only 35 days left in the amazing country of Spain in my study abroad location, San Sebastián.
When they say time flies, they really mean it. You don’t really notice it either… at least not until it hits you… that you only have one month left. And all of a sudden, you start to feel pressured– pressured to do things, finish things, go places, enjoy until you have nothing left. It’s kind of crazy, actually. I’m more stressed now than I was before I came here.
But this is a very different kind of stress. It’s more heart-pounding, excited anxiety, than anything. I’m ready to be done with the semester. I’m excited to go home and get my life back on schedule. I’m ecstatic to pet my dog. But I also wonder if I’ll feel satisfied when it’s time for me to return home. I worry that perhaps I’ll look back on my trip and wish for or regret something.
Life has a weird way of showing up and forcing you to become a greater version of yourself.
Despite all of this, I know that this is how life goes. We are always going to regret one thing or another or wish we had gone the extra mile. But I think what it all comes down to is the fact that we do what we want— what we feel is right— in the moment. We follow our instincts, our reasoning, our hearts above all else. And when we don’t do this, I feel as though we always have something to regret because there is nothing as fulfilling as following our dreams… no matter how scary or intimidating. So, I am reminding myself that there will be nothing to regret because in that moment I will have done what I wanted. I will have gone where my heartstrings pulled me. And if I ever wish for more, it’s just a plane ride away.
This, in itself, is making me tear up because I never thought that I’d have the guts to do anything like this. Leave home, go out into the unknown on my own (at first, at least), travel… LIVE!! Simplified, I never thought that I’d be able to continually, actively force myself farther and farther out of my comfort zone. But every day I find myself saying yes to things I was afraid to do before. I find myself being able to speak up, and do what I believe is best, and say no.
I have filled myself with a greater sense of self; a stronger grit and desire; a deeper appreciation for the world and all that it has to offer; and a more profound love of myself and my abilities.
Life has a weird way of showing up and forcing you to become a greater version of yourself. This trip has truly, more than anything, shown me that nothing is as bad as you make it out in your head to be. And it has proven to me time and time again that the things that scare us are the most rewarding and enriching experiences we will ever have (unless that scary thing is watching literally any horror movie or touching a spider… in which case, I will gladly, without any regret, opt out of that “enriching” experience).
Soon I will be home. But right now, I am grateful. I am here. And I will be enjoying these last few weeks wholeheartedly.
Logan Schauer is a University of Nevada, Reno student who studied abroad in San Sebastián, Spain.