Departing for my Junior Year Abroad

Today is the day. Today I will be embarking on my newest adventure: my Junior Year Abroad, which will be spent in Spain. I have been waiting for this day since the beginning of Sophomore year, when I started to look into study abroad programs. Thankfully, I knew many upperclass students who had done the program I was  interested in, or who were doing it, and they told me everything I needed to know. Needless to say, I fell in love with PRESHCO. It has been a bittersweet moment. I cannot wait to start this trip and experience a new country, but seeing my three-year-old nephew cry and my six-year-old niece not letting go of me before school, broke my heart. These three months were not enough. However, I know that this experience will allow them to see what is possible and show them that they, too, can travel and study beyond the Houston city limits.

I am lucky enough to have amazing, supportive parents. There is nothing I can do that will ever repay every sacrifice, effort, early wake-ups, sleepless nights, and worry that they have gone through. My only hope is to make them proud and show them that their sacrifices were and have been worth it. Without their support, I simply would not have been having any of the amazing experiences. I am also lucky of having the best brother ever. He has taken care of me, supported me, and done everything he can for me to have a good life. He also gives me rides to places when I’m home because I still don’t drive (shout out to him for being the real MVP!). Saying bye to my family, especially to my niece and nephew, was the hardest thing I have done. I already miss them.

I am currently writing this as I sit in the airport terminal, waiting for my first flight. I am grateful of having two of my closest friends next to me, as we will embark in this new and awesome experience together. It’s safe to say that I have made some of the best friendships while at Smith, and while I will miss my other close friends back on campus, I cannot wait for what’s to come.

This academic year, I will live by a quote: “The world is a book and those who don’t travel read only a page.” I am determined to read many pages of this beautiful book.

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