SOUTH CAROLINA — It’s the month of April! Which means that this is my last month as an exchange student at the University of South Carolina. Since these are the last few weeks of classes, students are busier than ever studying for exams and writing papers. Many of us are surely counting down the days for classes to end. At least, I am.
Springtime is looking nice at South Carolina. The weather is getting warmer and there is no need for me to wear coats everywhere I go anymore. There are some days though, where the weather is warm and sunny in the morning and by the afternoon, it gets cloudy and rainy. But I can settle for that. The cold weather actually made me appreciate the warm and sunny weather I have back home in Aruba.
Lately, I have been spending a lot of time in the library, studying for my last exams and writing my last papers. Drinking coffee has started to be a part of my daily routine so I can be able to get everything done. When I think back about my first few weeks here, I realize how different things were compared to now. It is crazy how fast time flew by and that these are my last few weeks here.
There are many things I have noticed about myself during these few months here. Ever since I can remember, I always struggled with the idea of change. I know it is necessary, but sometimes I still fear change. I know that I can have trouble adapting to change. Thus, taking this step to go study abroad for a couple of months was something that I was nervous about and I was not sure how everything would turn out. However, I felt that it was something I needed to experience to develop as a person, so I convinced myself I had to do it. While settling in here, I noticed that I actually started to adapt to change much faster than I thought and eventually embraced the concept of change.
I was never really able to fully experience the “student” life when I was younger. I started working part-time at a young age. Thus, I was always busy with work and school. Afterward, when I was not sure if I should continue my studies at the University of Aruba, I decided to take a gap year and work full time. However, I quickly realized that I do not want to start working full time at such a young age and decided that it would be best to continue my studies. After the gap year, I enrolled in the program of Organization, Governance, and Management at the University of Aruba and kept working part-time during my studies. When I started the program, I made a promise to myself that I would go on an exchange semester abroad so I can experience something new.
This exchange semester abroad was an opportunity for me to fully experience the student life. I managed to take time for myself and be able to dedicate more time to my studies. In addition, I got the opportunity to travel a lot, which is one of my favorite things to do. I also met a lot of new people and made some great friends. Don’t forget about all the great new food I tried. I am sure going to miss some restaurants when I go back home.
The thought of change did not seem so scary anymore when the time started to pass. I realized I managed to get out of my comfort zone and make the best out of this opportunity. Even though at the start things were a little bit confusing and stressful, I knew I could always count on my family and friends to really help me through the process of adapting to the change.
As the last weeks are approaching, I will probably dedicate my time to studying for finals. There are still some things I want to do before I leave, such as visit Myrtle Beach and take a day trip to Savannah. Which will be happening during one of the weekends or as soon classes are over.
In my next article, I will share my last adventures with all of you and also, my thoughts and feelings of returning back home. Q