You can’t do everything. I hate that phrase because it’s true. As I spend more time abroad, there is so much I want to do and try, but I don’t physically have the time, and it is infuriating. I decided to take a Friday class (something I tend to avoid at DU), which I go back and forth regretting. On the one hand, I enjoy the class, but on the other, I don’t have a long weekend. Who knew Tuesday/Friday classes could be so problematic. Almost every other student on my program does not have class on Friday, so they explore and travel, but there is only so much class I can miss, something I don’t like doing.
Last weekend, many of my friends traveled to Santiago, Chile, and I really wanted to go. Every day, I changed my mind about whether I would skip class. I ultimately decided not to go to Chile because I knew I was going to visit the country later in the semester. I was also sick and had been for the past two weeks, so I figured it was better for me to rest. It was a good decision.
I had the same problem, not even a week later. My friends were going hiking. There were other plans for the rest of the weekend, so Friday was the only available day for most people. This time, I knew I wouldn’t be able to skip class, for I had a group project. A slightly selfish part of me wished they didn’t go, which I quickly realized was a ridiculous thought.
It’s hard watching your peers enjoy activities without you, but it is part of the experience. I think everyone has a fear of missing out (FOMO), something social media aggravates. There is always going to be a seemingly better option. Right now, it’s which trip sounds the coolest? I also have to ask myself: how much class can I realistically miss? What am I trying to get out of my abroad experience? This last question had helped me a lot. I chose to study in Argentina because I want to improve my Spanish. I remind myself of this when I see my abroad friends taking advantage of their free Friday, or my friends from school all together getting ready for classes or meeting up in Europe. Despite my feelings of loneliness, I know why I chose Argentina, and I am so glad that I did.
ARGENTINA – IFSA: MENDOZA UNIVERSITIES PROGRAM, 2018 FALL
Zoe Kaldor is an International Studies and Strategic Communication double major. She is studying abroad with IFSA-Butler in Mendoza, Argentina. Originally from New York, DU’s study abroad program was one of the reasons Zoe chose to attend DU. She specifically chose to study abroad in Argentina because she wants to improve her Spanish skills and experience a new culture, for she believes it is so important in an increasingly global society to be able to communicate in languages besides English as well as experience different ways of life. Zoe is an avid traveler and loves to explore new places; she is excited she gets to do both.