Getting Settled In
My greetings from Spain to wherever you are. Timezones are wack man. I mean if I want to get anything done in the United States now I have to wait until at least 2pm if not closer to 4pm Spanish time, but then by the time things are actually being put into motion in the USA then I am asleep here. I forgot just how crappy a 8 hour time difference is. If I was from New York it might be a little nicer, but Mountain Time is just at a really awkward time distance (I don’t know if that is a phrase “time difference”?? Sounded nice in my head). So yeah, that is basically what I have been doing for the last couple weeks, sending emails, texting people, and calling the family every once in a while, and that is all happening in between moving around Spain by train, subway, car, bus, and foot. Shoot, I haven’t even mentioned moving into an apartment (this is my first house that isn’t with family or on a campus) and starting university. Or finding where everything is in a new city or making time for new friends, tennis, and old friends. If you were wondering I am averaging 6.5 hours of sleep (which I think is pretty good) per 24 hour period. I say 24 hour period because days lose all their meaning here in Spain when you wake up at 10am, go to sleep at 3am, and then wake up at 8am to get to your 9am class (yes, I did that once; yes, I was tired).
Needless to say, August-September has been super busy so far.
That’s okay though. It’s nice when things are busy and whenever you are doing things, it keeps your mind occupied and (for me at least) it makes you get things done faster. That is one of the first things they say about going abroad or even about just going to college, right? Get involved, do things, pick up a sport, take a dance class, meet people. It is relaxing to spend time in your room watching Netflix and just doing homework when you need to, but that way you have too much time on your hands and it gets boring. I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t let your life get too boring. (A certain level of boring is needed so that you have a regular(-ish) sleep schedule, but besides that, have some fun, even if it is within the schedule you have to work. When your mind is occupied I think in the end you end up getting more out of an experience. But in that regard I would also say that if you want a lot of good memories that last a long time, do stupid, dumb things, and make mistakes all the time because those are the times you’ll remember, but I can’t very well tell you to do stupid, dumb things all the time, can I? That has to be your decision.
Well, you may have been wondering how the whole housing situation worked out, and I have to say it worked out just fine in the end. Like I figured it would, there are lots of flats for students and just regular flats in a city the size of Madrid, but I was (and so were my parents and grandparents) a little worried that I left the USA with no real plan on that end. But hey man, it worked out. Well it is still all working itself out a little, butt you know what they say, all good things take time. (I hope that’s what they say or else my working on becoming a millionaire is going worse than I previously thought.) Anyways, I am living in an apartment right next to the university where I am going to school. In that respect it is very convenient. It’s like living in the dorms, but not living in the dorms. (That was badly explained, but it’s okay.) I have to Spanish flatmates that are also studying, each currently working on their Masters’ degrees. So basically I am the youngest by a little bit since they both worked before deciding to go back to school. It all good in the flat, we are adjusting to living together, buying things together, figuring out how to plan things together, and when the others will be home. For me it is all a bit new: living without my birth parents… I have experience in. Cooking, shopping, and house care taking for myself… well that is pretty new. But I are going at it. If anyone has any recipes that are simple (they don’t necessarily have to be simple, I mean I know how to follow recipes, but we don’t have every single ingredient that you may have at your disposal in our flat…so simple in that respect) and that you’d like to share… send them to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I think I’m doing an okay job… I have spaghetti, remade pizza, sandwiches, and cereal down pat… so now I just need to figure out anything that is healthy for me and well, everything else. I will keep you informed on that aspect as I go along I am sure.
As for university, well, I would have to say that it is fairly similar to university in the states expect that the classes in English have a different accent about them and those that are taught in Spanish more people participate in. Hahaha I almost made myself laugh, but that is true. Although this university is quite bilingual and there are man international students here as well, so the English level of everyone is quite high. Really, across the board it is probably the Spanish that needs more work overall, I mean, it’s kinda weird, we’re in Spain, going to a Spanish university, but every person speaks English well. It is times like these that I’m glad I speak English as my first language. But also hearing so many other languages between the other exchange students it does seem like it would be cool to speak some other ones as well.
But classes are just fine. I would tell you exactly how I felt about them, but I have only been going to class for one week and a half… all I can say is that they are interesting and it’s more school. Yes, I would have to say that they are a bit different from the university classes I was taking last year at UNM. Here, while I am taking four classes, I have eight teachers. I have one lecturer/professor that lectures over the topic and one TA/tutor for the practical classes where we do discussion and group work. It is kinda weird and a bit confusing right now, I mean eight different teachers seems a bit difficult to manage, but we shall see. (Hopefully we shall understand before we see.)
Well, I think I have written enough for now, but I will be back with an update later in the month.