One of the most difficult things I have overcome before departing for Spain is getting over the FOMO, otherwise known as the “fear of missing out.” Holy Cross is an exceptional place, one of my favorites in the world, and leaving it behind for a foreign school, in a different country, is frightening. Not only am I leaving behind a place that has helped shape me into the person I am today, but also I am losing a year with some of the most important people in my life, the Holy Cross community. As much as I would like to stay in this environment for another year, I know that this journey ahead of me is necessary. In Palma, Mallorca, where I will be living these next 11 months, I will assimilate into a different culture, meet new people, and have experiences I would otherwise not be able to. Instead of pulling all night-ers in Dinand, I will be exploring a beautiful island in the Mediterranean. I know what I will be missing at Holy Cross, but if I do not embark on this study abroad journey, I will never know what I could have missed out on in Spain.
In preparation before my year abroad, I had to journey out to the East Coast(I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin) one last time to say goodbye to some of my favorite people from Holy Cross. It was so great to see them, and this visit made it easier for me to leave them behind. In addition, I prepared for the biggest challenge to come, learning the language. I got a job as a waitress at a Mexican restaurant near my house this summer. Due to the fact that over half the employees, including one of my managers, were Mexican, Spanish was constantly being thrown around in conversation. Some of my coworkers could not speak english, so our only means of communication was Spanish. I am incredibly grateful for this environment and am hopeful that it has prepared me for this upcoming year.