So it is coming to the end of my main stay here in Sevilla and I have been thinking a lot over the last few days about my time here and how it has been. Forgive me if this post is a little ramble-y, I am just spouting my thoughts right now.
Before I came here, I was convinced this was going to be the best time of my entire life. I thought I was going to be so busy with so many exciting things that I would barely have any free time to just relax. I imagined I would have a gazillion and one friends from all over the world and that I would be out partying at least once a week, if not once a fortnight. You know, a typical Erasmus experience! Fun, fun, fun, partying, maybe a little bit of studying, travelling and yet more fun.
Needless to say, my experience hasn’t quite been what I thought it was going to be. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved being here. Spain is a wonderful country with lovely people and amazing food. I have made some amazing friends, done some great things and visited some wonderful places (six other cities besides Sevilla!). I have enjoyed my time here, without a doubt.
That isn’t to say that there haven’t been any rocky patches, nor does it mean that I have enjoyed every single second. There have been a few weeks where I have just wanted to pack a bag and fly home because I have felt so down that I just want to do nothing else. Many a time (in fact almost every time) I have walked into a class and felt like I can’t talk to anyone because I am either the sole Erasmus student in said class, or everyone else already knows each other be they native or Erasmus. There have been times where I just wanted to shut the world out and curl up in my bed with a TV show for 10 hours straight…and it’s happened.
A lot of my problems have come from an unexplained lack of motivation. This means I don’t go to classes and this makes me worry that I am not going to pass and this makes me feel crappy so I shut myself away and don’t socialise.
Lots of my issues here have come from myself and it really makes me wish that I could start over and do it all again and really make the most of my time here. With only ten days left before I go home for Christmas and only 16 days maximum once I come back after Christmas, I have some regrets; not something I wanted to leave with.
I wish I had gotten out more, made more of an attempt to socialise and make more friends. I wish I had gone to the free cooking classes that were on offer and gone to language exchanges and dancing classes and flamenco nights and Erasmus parties. I wish I hadn’t declined those offers for nights out or dinner out or just drinks.
I feel like one of the reasons that my life here has been a little less exciting is because I am living with Spanish people. I adore my flatmates, they are beautiful people and they have been so so good to me and helpful to me while I have been here, but I think that maybe living with people who have already been in Sevilla for two or three years and aren’t as excited about it all any more has affected my experience. Life is a little more normal and not really the Erasmus experience I was expecting. I wouldn’t change my flatmates for the world, but I often think that if I had lived with other foreign students it might have all been a little more exciting because it would have been new for everyone and not just me.
Keeping all of this in mind, I am very much looking forward to Paris and France and what my time there will offer me. I have made a vow to myself to get out more and make more of a conscious effort to join language groups and maybe go to a cooking class or a karaoke night to meet people.
I have asked for a video camera for Christmas to be able to vlog about my time there. I think that sharing what is going on in my life will help me to make my life more exciting by doing more things so that I will have exciting things to share with people!
In conclusion, Spain has been wonderful but it could have been even better had I only made more effort, and I regret that a little bit. Moving forward, I will apply the feelings I am having right now to my time in France. I am determined to make the most of the rest of my year abroad! I will not be going home in July/August with any more regrets or “I wish I had done that…” and “If only I have gone there…”!
Those of you on placements, how do you currently feel about this kind of thing? Do you feel like you are really making the most of the time you have in your placement city? Do you have any regrets so far? How does the experience you’re having compare to the expectations you had before you left?
Thanks for listening to my reflective ramble!
Hope you’re all well. It’s almost Christmas, yay!
Next time, a post about a friend’s visit and a day trip to Córdoba.