Current Anxiety Rating: 2
07.11.2014 - 16.11.2014
I have officially survived my midterms! I know. I had you going there for a second when I didn't post on Sunday, but I am indeed alive and well. Gotta keep you all on your toes. Actually, I had the best of intentions to be proactive and post on Wednesday before my trip to Seville and Cordoba, but alas, my brain was doing its best impression of television static because I had just finished my Literature midterm. That post would have just been utterly no fun to read, so I decided to come back when I could think straight.
Despite all the nerves and fears about my first european exams, they all went pretty well. They actually weren't all that different from Midterms back home. Some professors give them. Some don't. The professors who give midterms in smaller classes tend to care less about them because they have a pretty good idea who is paying attention versus who is smiling and nodding but actually imagining their trip to Ireland. All my exams were formatted a little bit differently: I had one test that was all essay/short answer. I had one that was a combo of matching, fill in the blank, and short answer. And one that was just basically "write everything you know about the listed concepts." So, overall not too bad. Fairly painless. All the fearful and frenzied studying probably helped somewhat.
I was actually surprised at how non-anxious I was about my exams. The only test I was really nervous about was my Literature one because we covered a ton of stuff and my professor writes his power point slides exactly how they always tell you not to in school (Text! Text everywhere!) But, even then, I was just nervous. Not like stomach cramping, nausea, head-ache, hell-fire mess. Just normal, average person nervous. Weird, huh?
I have actually been surprised about how relatively relaxed I have been on most of this trip. When I imagined coming here originally, I was gripped with this intense terror, but the reality has been way less panic-inducing. I am starting to think I felt so overwhelmed before I left because I took all of the unknowns from all the possible situations and obsessed over them all at once. Will I get lost? Will my host mom like me? What if my flight is delayed? What if I don't get my luggage? What if it turns out I'm terrible at speaking Spanish? What if I can't get help if I need it?.....And on and on and on. But, luckily, reality doesn't work that way. Or at least, it hasn't. (*Knock on wood*) Sure, the first few days were incredibly jarring, but after I got past some of the initial culture shock, I was able to take each stressful situation as it came. I have also met some really cool and interesting people that I feel comfortable with, and I have adjusted to Granada. Sometimes, on my more pessimistic days, though, I do worry that that my lack of anxiety somehow means that I am not doing enough things to challenge myself. But I have actually been doing a ton of stuff! Stupid Pessimism! You inaccurate thing, you!
In fact, two weeks ago, I went to a Tetería (a tea shop) as well as an awesome Jazz Bar and I also saw a movie in Spanish ("Dracula") with some friends. This weekend, I went to Sevilla and saw the castle gardens where they filmed new scenes for Game of Thrones Season 5; I rowed a boat (with less than stellar success, but I wasn't planning on rowing boats for a living); I climbed up 32 stories to the top of the bell tower in the Seville Cathedral and got to look out on the whole city (It was freaking amazing!); I saw where Christopher Columbus's remains reside (no really awesome feelings about old Chris himself, but it was still kinda cool); I payed 30 cents to use a public restroom (maybe the biggest adventure of all). And I had a really great time while doing all those things. Well, maybe not the bathroom thing but still...but you get generally what I am saying here.
I may not be jumping out of planes or rappelling down mountains, but I am doing things that I will remember for the rest of my life. Maybe, I have adjusted. Maybe, I got all my worrying out of the way before I got here. Maybe, it is all the olive oil and bread. I guess what I am saying, is I going to stop worrying about not worrying and try to enjoy the last four and a half weeks to their fullest.
Thanks for reading, guys! I am off to Florence this weekend, and I can't wait to tell you about all the amazing things I saw there! All of the food! Stay tuned!
Thank you to the Helen Barr Rudin Grant for making this blog and my adventures abroad possible*