Hola mis amigos! Today is day 2 in Sevilla, and let me just say that the jet lag is VERY real. Yesterday, was a long day of traveling. Three plane rides total and most likely only 5 hours of sleep total. I am slowly getting those hours of sleep back with afternoon siestas, but that is not what has been the most difficult adjustment.
I am discovering that:
- Speaking Spanish is not a strength of mine. My vocabulary is limited, my verb conjugations are constantly wrong, and I know I’m saying “sí” way too much. University level Spanish classes are nothing like having to speak with natives 24/7. With all of that being said, it has been a struggle for me to communicate with my host family. I comprehend most of what is spoken to me, but I cannot produce the response that I would like to because I do not know enough words to string together a proper sentence. I know I will get better with time, but right now it’s very very hard.
- I miss my family so so much. That month of Christmas break flew by, and I totally should have spent more time appreciating having my puppy to play with, my sister to laugh with, my mom to talk to, my dad to workout with, and my brothers to annoy with questions about basketball or girls. I love talking to my mom on the phone, but at the same time, it also makes me want to cry just hearing her voice and knowing she is thousands of miles away.
- I crave American food all the time. I miss my Chobani greek yogurt and my oatmeal every morning for breakfast. I wish I could heat up my Green Giant broccoli when I get back to my house or drive to Kroger to pick up some sushi, but all of those things are my American habits that cannot transfer over here. I have some snacks from home here, but those will run out soon. I am a person who does not like change, so adjusting is very challenging for me. I also wish I could have wheat bread, but it is all white haha. The different meal times are also throwing me off my normal schedule. Breakfast is at 8:30-9 a.m. here (I normally eat breakfast around 7 a.m.), lunch is around 2:30-3 p.m. (normally at noon for me), and dinner is around 9:30- 10 p.m. (normally at 6 p.m.). I also do not have my midmorning or mid afternoon snack, so everything is just not the same.
- All of the other students are in the same boat as me. I feel like I am going through this alone and I am the only one experiencing all of the culture shock. However, in reality, there are over 300 other American students in the same program as me. I am very thankful to have these students here because if I could not speak in English to anyone, I would go crazy and probably be on a plan back home. While I will try to go out of my comfort zone and meet some Spanish friends, right now, having American people to speak to comforts me.
- There is so much history here. All of the buildings are so old and have so much character, charm, and color. I love it.
- I am not used to having such a limited clothing supply. All of my friends and family know that my closets are never bare. They are normally packed to where it is hard for me to fit in new clothes that I purchase. However, with a 50 pound weight limit for my check-in suitcase, I had to pick and choose wisely. While I feel like I accomplished that task, I still do not have all of the sweaters, jackets, shirts, pants, leggings, and shoes that I wanted to bring. I have had to re-wear some things already and know I will have to a lot more during these 4 months.
- My room and my house are FREEZING. Since it gets so hot during the summer here, sevillanos (people from Sevilla) do not have heating in their homes. So, I am constantly cold and wish I had my fleece robe from home.
I know that most of what I wrote sounds like I am complaining, but that’s because I am still trying to adjust. It is hard for me, but I know that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I really am grateful for this opportunity.