Wow, so the stakes are high for this blog post. I have to come up with some deep reflections about my SYA experience, what has made it life-changing and how I have evolved from it. That’s what you’re expecting right? Well, I don’t have anything profound to say. I am lying in bed, avoiding Capstone and listening to Jefferson Airplane (if you don’t know that band, educate yourself). I am still too immersed in the SYA experience to be able to reflect on it profoundly. What I can reflect on a little bit is transition and goodbyes.
Like my fellow juniors in America, all I want to do is finish up the final projects and tests, sleep for a month straight and then graduate and go home. Except unlike them, going home has a grave finality. I am a senior a year early, and its very scary and jarring to me that I wont be returning to SYA next fall. I probably won’t see my SYA classmates for a while, and certainly not everyday. I won’t see my host family, my host house or this city for at least a year, or longer. And while a look forward to the end of the year and reunion with my friends and my family from home and the reprieve from the pressure and anxiety of a high school student, I would trade that to stay here, in what has become my world.
Transition is hard, and my family here is my comfort zone now. They are no longer a host family, but my family. My room is mine, as much as my room in the states. I no longer refer to things here as temporary. There is my Spanish family, and my American one, they are very different, but neither is less real. There is my Spanish school, my Spanish teachers, and my American ones. And there is a Spanish Charlotte and an American Charlotte. And I’m not sure how they relate to each other. I’m not sure who American Charlotte is. That’s scary. Going home is much scarier than coming here was, surprisingly enough. Because I didn’t know what I was getting myself into leaving, I could plunge in without anyone having expectations or standards of how I would react. Now, there is a precedent for my behavior, my friendships and my interactions. A precedent I know I won’t match.