HAPPY FIRST DAY OF CLASSES! Wofford moved in last weekend and for the first time in the 6 weeks that I’ve been here, most of my friends in the US are back together again. They all live on the same hall now. They share rooms and meals and tailgates. Football is back again, full swing, with a home opener against Furman. We won! My friends started classes yet again with the same professors, in the same building, together once again. Meanwhile, I’ve settled into a routine here, in the other side of the world. I go to class (with Dr. Nuriel’s friend who is awesome!) and do my homework. Last week was one of those weeks. You know the ones, where all your professors decide to give tests and quizzes and presentations the same week. I was tired, exhausted and mentally drained while I subjected myself move in day on Snapchat.
It’s the moments like these that you can’t prepare for. No matter how much you understand the process, nothing is going to take away that feeling. The feeling that you are alone, on the other side of the world, in a new language, in a new culture. This feeling comes and goes. Sometimes it’s worse than others, but the worst part of it, is when you feel left out. Not only are you on the other side of the world, but you can’t go to the tailgate. You don’t have the option to run and talk to your professors that you’ve known for the past 2 or 3 years. You can’t see your best friends in the bathroom or in Burwell. It’s in these moments that you just want to go home.
But take a step back. You have the opportunity to be on the other side of the world. You are experiencing a different culture, a different language. You have pushed yourself out of your comfort zone. These feelings are normal. That doesn’t make them any better, but for me, its gives me the opportunity to rationalize them. Yes, today was terrible. The bus was late. It poured rain. I’m soaked and its 45 degrees here. I have 3 presentations this week. I just want to go home. I want nothing to do with any of this right now. But, today will end and tomorrow will be better.
Personally, my worst day was this past Saturday. After that it got better, but Saturday was awful. I went to church because we had practice for Sunday morning worship. When the band members asked me how I was, I told them I was just tired. Then the guy, who I was teaching the sound board to, asked me again. I proceeded to try to explain (very poorly) my feelings: that I felt at home here, but I just wanted to be with my friends, at the football game or tailgate or moving my stuff back into my dorm. There’s not really one word in Spanish that describes homesickness very well and there’s not a word that describes the feeling of home. While I was discussing this with him, the electric guitarist (I still don’t know if he heard me or not) started playing Sweet Home, Alabama. It made me more homesick, but more conscious that I had friends here, that I had a home here. I still wanted to go home, but I didn’t want to leave so desperately. This was the moment that I realized that everything I’m feeling is completely, 100% normal, and that every one of my classmates is going to or has experienced the exact same thing.
“Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low, only hate the road when you’re missing home” –Passenger, Let Her Go