Ahh what a beautiful language. It is a language that gives me mixed feelings. I have such a love for the language and culture, but I struggle putting in the work to learn it, which is a problem considering I declared a second major in Spanish this year. Throughout high school and even my first class at IU, it was a breeze. I realized that was only because I was good at memorizing vocab words. I am currently in a class that requires chapters worth of 15h century readings from Spain with numerous words I have never seen. These kind of assignments really make me reconsider this second major, but in the end, I always tell myself to keep pushing toward my ultimate goal of becoming bilingual.
I think that being able to speak two languages would be amazing. I have always admired individuals with this skill. Shoutout to Jenna Taylor, my first Spanish instructor at IU, for helping me rediscover my love for this language. I say “rediscover” because from 8th grade to junior year of high school, I was enrolled in a Spanish class, but my senior year, I kind of gave up. After that S200 class with Jenna though, a spark ignited. I found myself enjoying going to class simply to hear her speak. I volunteered to answer and ask questions more because I wanted her to be proud of me for speaking in front of the class despite my insecurity with my grammar and pronunciation skills (or lack of). I even downloaded an app on my phone to help me practice and stay up to date with vocabulary.
However, after two more semesters of Spanish classes following Jenna’s at IU , I was ready to call it quits again. I was frustrated that I could not understand half the lectures and homework assignments. It was such an odd concept to have to put forth so much effort for a subject that had always come so easily. I just wanted it to come not only naturally, but instantly. It was an unrealistic goal, but like many things in life, having patience can be difficult. I am finally starting to understand that this is going to take some time. It will take dedication. And finally, it will take practice.
One year from now, my plan is to be studying in Spain for the entire spring semester. I have already thought about the culture shock that I will most likely experience during my first weeks there. However, I know that this is something I really want to do. It will take me outside of my comfort zone and into an unfamiliar place full of exciting and compelling things. I will meet beautiful people, see incredible sights, and develop a new perspective of the world. So, I need to keep all of this in mind when it is 10 at night while I’m working on my Spanish homework, longing to watch Netflix. I need to turn this love-hate relationship into one of just love.