(This blog post is rated T for vulgarity and references to the consumption of alcohol)
So yeah, um…
I was going to start with the beginning, but that’s kind of a weird concept. I can’t really decide when the beginning was, because to be honest coming to Barcelona was something I was terrified would actually happen ever since I turned in the application. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to be excited. I was trying to be excited. I even went so far as to tell myself that I was a little shit, and I’d better get excited about the idea because what the hell else was I doing?
But the fact remains that I was not really wanting to get in. It just seemed like I was destined to. I didn’t even know when the application was due, and when I finally checked it (after caving in to my mother’s pestering) I had to have it done for the next day. Not wanting to disappoint her (and honestly, myself) by having to tell her I spent the day with my old friend Apathy instead, I went ahead and filled it all out. I even wrote essays, put in honest-to-god effort.
I may be a bit of lazy bastard, but when I decide to do something, it happens even if I have to walk through fire to make it so. That was the best last-minute application that’s ever been submitted.
So there I was, having submitted this application, and I knew I was supposed to feel elated. As you can probably guess at this point, I wasn’t. I wasn’t even close to happy about it. To me, all I had done is create another point of stress in my life because now, I had to worry about something else. Studying in another country for a semester is not something quick or easy to do. It takes a concerted effort to prepare yourself for, and after spending countless hours speaking to different banks about who has the least expensive rates overseas (which no one seems to know, even about their own company) you still can’t even fathom what it’s going to be like to live there. So yeah, stress.
To make things worse, I was just waiting. There was nothing more to be done at the moment, and I was just stewing. Yeah, that’s no one’s fault but my own. But now that I’d decided to care, I cared. A lot. I just wasn’t sure I actually wanted to be rewarded for my effort, which made it all the more difficult and confusing.
Again, it seemed like I was fated to make it. I managed to dodge another bullet when the program sent me an email that said “hey idiot, you submitted your essay in English. What program are you going on again?” Again, this was the last possible minute, since they’d sent the email Friday and I looked at it Sunday.
This was my moment though. No one else knew about it. I could have just told everyone they’d rejected my application because I goofed up and sent the essay in English. I was free.
But here’s the thing: I discovered I’m not the blasé, too-cool-for-school guy that I wanted to think I was. I mean, who doesn’t want to think they’re cooler than they are? But really, I almost did it. Almost.
There was a part of me, a little nagging piece of myself that wouldn’t let me forget that I’m supposed to be a stand-up person. A little voice in the pit of my stomach that said “you’re gonna feel like a real bastard about this for the rest of your life.”
I blame my parents. I mean, what kind of upbringing does this to someone? I just wanted to spend my spring semester in the comfortable bubble I’d created for myself. But no. No, thanks to my parents, I had to prove to myself I was the type of person who saw things through to the end. So I fixed the essay and sent it back.
More waiting. At this point, I was tearing out my hair. That essay I wrote? The one that kicked ass, and even more so since it was sent in last-minute? By this point I was convinced it was awful. This was a competitive program. There was simply no way, and I was okay with that. But they just needed to freaking tell me.
And, miraculously, they eventually did.
And even more to my surprise, I wasn’t disappointed.
In one moment, I went from intense dread to surprise to acceptance to excitement. Wait, let me fix that. Excited? I was ecstatic. I was on fire.
All of the sudden, I couldn’t wait to leave. I started to get annoyed at everything that reminded me I still had quite a bit of time before I would even be ready to go. It’s a miracle I calmed down enough to actually enjoy my winter break. I did, (which I’m sure my family and friends appreciated, those assholes) but there wasn’t a single day I didn’t wake up and wish I could just leave.
And of course, one day I had to. And it was good.
So by this point, the more skeptical of you are tired of me. I mean, I spent months obsessing and putting myself into a funk over the possibility of going to Spain for a semester. I wasn’t even worried in the right way. Well so what? I’m a bastard I know, but I’m excited to be here now so you can get over it too.
So yeah, I guess I just wanted my first post on this blog to explain where I’m coming from. I’ve currently been in Barcelona, Spain for five days along with my roughly 30 other fellow students. Eight of us are from my home university, IU. I’ve started my first class here, which is three weeks long and an intensive spanish course. So far we’ll all probably survive it. Probably.
It’s been a long five days. And the shortest of my life. I’ve spoken more spanish here than ever before. I’ve met some people I hope to become great friends with. I’ve gotten drunk and lost and had to stumble in the direction of home (which I found out quickly was not really the direction of home) and had to take a taxi. I’ve gotten drunk and found out my friend was way more inebriated than I was and had to walk her home. I think I’m averaging 5 hours of sleep a night, a combination of jet lag and deciding to Tim Gunn-it and make it work. And all of us students are entirely overwhelmed and excited and can’t wait to feel at home.
Oh, and watching FC Barca beat Real Madrid was great.