My Erasmus diary
Hi, my name is Kara. Like many on Erasmus, I’m a third year student and I study Film & Digital Media as well as Spanish. I’m from a small city in upstate New York that you have definitely never heard of, but I am adamant to put on the map, called Syracuse. I grew up there all the way until it was time to start college when I decided to move to Galway. I moved to Galway at 18, completely alone, with the strong ambition to travel. It was all I talked about. I always wanted to travel Europe. Once I got there, I would see it all. Travel everywhere all the time, no stopping me.
But alas I moved to Ireland during Covid which put a major dent in these plans. So, second year was the year I would travel everywhere, new country every weekend, no stopping me. But then, I got a job, made some incredible friends, found my favorite coffee shop, my favorite pub, my favorite hot-girl-walk route. I became comfortable in Galway. More than comfortable actually, I began to develop a little crush on Miss Galway, and I didn’t really want to leave her.
No problem, third year is my year, I’ll be on Erasmus in Spain. I’ll travel everywhere, new country every weekend, no stopping me. All summer in America I bragged to everyone I know that I’ll be in warm beautiful Valencia come January 22nd. Absolutely no concern, no angst, just adventure on the mind. I’ve moved to a foreign country alone before; no problem, I got this. September crept around, still excited. October, cannot wait. November’s here, time to fill out the applications. December, you’re in, apartment deposit paid, plane ticket booked- you’re going. Hold on, I don’t want to leave Galway. Everything’s here. All my friends, my favorite cafe, my favorite pub, my favorite hot-girl-walk route. I can’t leave all that. I don’t know anyone in Spain. I have like B1 Spanish at best. How’s that going to get me through? There’s no iced coffee? What do you mean it doesn’t rain every day? I don’t have clothes for this. What if I hate it? Worse, what if I’m all alone?
Though I know this is what Taylor Swift would refer to as a “champagne problem” and hardly an admirable commencement to my Erasmus Diary, it’s the truth. I’m scared. Terrified really and frankly I don’t want to go. I know I’ve done it before, but this time feels different. I was ignorant before and blind to the hardships that came with the territory when I first took off at 18. Now I know what culture shock is and I’m a good friend of homesickness. I know what’s coming. I have more to miss. Two countries, two cities, two homes. However, when I think about all the previously stated adversity, I’m reminded of all the accompanying accolades. I know that it will be hard, but I know I can do it. I know I will struggle, but I know I will gain fluency. I know I’ll have to go shopping, but I know I’ll find weather appropriate attire. I know I will be alone, but I know it won’t be forever. I know I will meet amazing people and I know I will become the most independent I’ve ever been. I know I’m terrified, but I know I can do it. And if there’s anything I’ve learned from the first time it’s that the best things come from the most challenging experiences. So, bring it on, new country, every weekend, no stopping me.