Mid Study Abroad Crisis?

1 Nov

Hello all, I hope the world of Purdue is going well and Halloween parties were fun. There is not an huge amount of excitement going on right now because it’s getting close to finals time, so I have about 45 pages worth of final papers due in the next two weeks. I do, however, have trips to Salta, Argentina; Colonia, Uruguay; Punta del Este, Uruguay; and Cusco/Machu Picchu, Peru planned. Yes, Machu Picchu. I just booked the flights today! But since all of those exciting things are happening in the future and not in the past week or so, I’m going write about something less to do with my travels and more to deal with this whole whirlwind of an experience that is studying abroad.

In the past few weeks or so, it seems as if every one of my study abroad amigos has been dealing with the same sort of mid-studying abroad crisis, if you will. We have officially passed the halfway point of this whole experience, and everywhere I look my friends seem to be dealing with the same problem: what do we do now? It’s time to start registering for classes for next semester, yet it seems so far away. Then you look at a calendar and realize, Holy Crap, I’ve only got a little more than a month left! I have some friends that are here for a full year, so they are making travel plans for the two month break they are about to have (lucky, no?!). I have others who are in the process of getting approval from advisors (and parents) to switch from staying here for a semester to a year. And then I have others, like myself, who are trying to figure out what we’re going to do with our lives (academic and otherwise) once we return.

As with all important experiences in life, studying abroad really does seem to change people. I mean, I know I was told that I’d get here and go through this whole process of being home sick, experiencing culture shock, adjusting, returning, experiencing culture shock again, being home sick for Argentina, etc (with +/- a step or two, depending on the person) and that it would change my whole outlook, but I guess I wasn’t really ready for that. I mean, I never got home sick, and there wasn’t too much culture shock for me because I’ve lived abroad already, so it was more or less the same amount of change that you should expect in any move. But, because I didn’t go through those steps that most people do, I didn’t really expect for anything to change that much for me. I’m not even sure what to attribute it to, but I’m definitely at the same spot as all of my friends. I suppose it could be more of a mid-education crisis and it’s just a coincidence that I also happen to be in Argentina, but I somehow feel that because everyone around me is also experiencing it, that it just can’t be.

Regardless, I’ve been left in a place where I’m not really sure what to do next. I wish I was able to just stay here for a year and forget about being an adult and figuring this all out now, but I just can’t afford that. So, instead, I’m trying to decide important academic questions (Keep the major or drop it to a minor? Pick up another minor? Take summer courses? Finish on time? Dios mio!) alone, abroad, and with not much advising. I guess we’ll see how it all works out in January….

(P.S. I doubt anyone back home is very familiar with the name Nestor Kirchner, but everyone should Google him. His death was a huge shock to wake up to Wednesday morning, and it’s made huge impacts on Argentine politics for the future.)

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