Monday, January 19, 2015

Restless, impatient, and nervous, OH MY

Five weeks.

I only have five more weeks of feeling restless, impatient, and nervous.

You may wonder why I am experiencing these feelings. Well, in the next five weeks, I will be studying abroad in COSTA RICA! Hence, this upcoming trip is the reason for the jumble of emotions.

Notice the part where I mentioned “five weeks”… that’s 35 days of twiddling my thumbs (and hopefully practicing Spanish) while I wait for the approaching departure date.

The restless feeling is due to this period of in-between. As I wait here, at my home in Florida, my suitemate is already on her study abroad adventure in Spain. Also, all of my friends have started their second semester yet here I am waiting to begin mine in March… which makes me feel liking I’m falling behind.

And in my experience, restlessness comes hand in hand with impatience. I am itching to leave and start my studies (that’s for you, mom), but I’m also ready to explore the lush rainforest, dance the night away to salsa and meringue, eat tasty arroz y frijoles all the time, join some pickup soccer games, and enjoy the beauty the makes up Costa Rica.

The only fix to get rid of my feelings of restlessness and impatience is to invent a time machine that would immediately transport me to late February… since that’s totally not going to happen… the last thing left to quell, before I leave, is my nervousness. *I’d like to point out that the nerves consist of excitement as well as stress.* 
I am nervous for a couple of reasons, as I’m sure the people joining me on this trip feel similarly, for which I will put into list form:

1) This is no short trip. I will be abroad until the end of June. THAT’S FOUR FREAKING MONTHS.


Okay, so I’m obviously being dramatic. I won’t be alone for long. I will be meeting and getting to know some other students from Elon as well as other international students. And, I will be living in San Jose. Which, by the way, is pretty dang close to the rainforest.
So like I said, I’m IN THE RAINFOREST… and kind of ALONE.

2)  Spanish is the official language in Costa Rica. Yo hablo un poco Espanol. Therefore, my first few weeks will undoubtedly result in countless headaches from trying to understand and respond. Hopefully, I will catch on fast by putting my previous knowledge from Spanish classes to good use. Sure, I will start off my trip sounding like I’m at the level of a Hispanic two year old

but my goal is to come home fluent.

3)   Culture shock. I've heard plenty about it and it will probably hit me hard. Some things I should expect that are different than what I am used to are:  to utilize the bus system and frequently use cabs (since it is not as expensive there), give directions like “I live over the bridge, to the right of the McDonalds, at the house with red tiles” rather giving an actual address, hear Spanish used basically everywhere, live with a host family (which means that my home abroad will be with a random new family and a random new roommate), and live a much slower paced lifestyle.  Hopefully, I’ll adjust gracefully. 
It’s too bad clumsy is my middle name.

4)  have to create a blog for my GST class. A public journal, if you will, of opinionated essays written by yours truly. I've never been one to express my thoughts so openly which makes this completely nerve racking. Sure, the amount of people who might read this blog is slim… Basically future Elon abroad-ers or family, but it’s still something I am not usually comfortable with.

At the moment, I may be feeling restless, impatient, and nervous… oh my. However unlike Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz, who chanted her fears with  “lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!” as she proceeded through the Spooky forest, I will proceed through this in-between state trying my best to just be excited with what is to come and with minimal chanting.