Today I took the long trek into DC in hopes that my visa was completed and ready for me. We navigated Dupont Circle and marched into the Spanish Embassy where there was no line and I received my passport with the completed visa in a grand total of 10 minutes. We spent the rest of the day lounging around Georgetown and then getting trapped in the East Falls Church metro stop (BEWARE!) and finishing the day off by sitting in traffic on the journey home. My friend who accompanied me on this adventure is also studying abroad, so naturally, our conversation topic kept bouncing back to Spain. This particular time, we happened to talk about fears and excitements, and it really got me thinking. Amigos, we're looking at 13 days until departure. THAT'S LESS THAN TWO WEEKS.
My excitement for the upcoming semester is tempered by mini-freak outs that spike my normally low anxiety levels. At this point, I think that I can sum up my two greatest fears about the trip:
1. That some catastrophe is going to happen, and I won't know what to do/how to deal with it
2. That I will be unable to make friends, especially with Spaniards
Ok, so maybe the first one is a little out there, but I think that the second is a very real fear for many study abroad students. Americans studying in Sevilla, and Spain in general, face a challenge that goes by two names: other study abroad students and English. Spain is a very popular country for students, so when I go there will be plenty of other people who speak English. It would be so easy to just fall back on that, comforting myself with the fact that Spanish was just "too hard." In fact, former study abroad students have explained to my peers and I how their greatest regret was "not making enough Spanish friends."
This will not be the case with me. I'm not much of a quitter to begin with, but with this challenge I'll be even less of one. Everyday, I'm going to remind myself of the amazing opportunity that has been presented to me, and I'm going to live each day to its fullest. No regrets. I know this is superbly clichéd, but I mean it. I think that in recognizing my fears, I will be able to implement actions that will render these "fears" into passing sentiments.