Grieving the Loss of Study Abroad

My actual study abroad is over. When that really hit me, I went through a grieving process. The first couple of day after arriving home were like a blur. I was emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted from the stress of trying to get home. After sleeping well and eating a lot of good food, the reality of what happened hit me. I realized that I wouldn’t be studying abroad, my semester living abroad was over.

This was a difficult fact for me to fully accept. I did not really think it was affecting me that much until my dad pointed it out to me. For at least three days I had zero motivation to do anything besides lay in bed and watch movies or read. I did not even feel like going to sit on our front porch. My lack of motivation to do anything, I think, came from a loss of purpose. I no longer would be getting up to go to school in the mornings, I would not see my friends every day. This loss was a significant change in my life. My entire life was uprooted in a matter of days and I did not take time to process it until now. As my dad pointed out, I was grieving the loss of my semester abroad, something I dreamed of doing and worked hard to be able to complete. I realized that this change took a greater toll on me than I wanted to accept. After sharing what I was feeling with my parents I was able to start processing what I lost. Saying what I was feeling out loud helped me to acknowledge what I was feeling and understand that it was normal. Now I am able to know what I am going through and I know that I will probably feel sad about my loss for some time.

A top of Parc Guell, works of Antoni Gaudi.

Another part of this experience that has been difficult, is the fourteen-day quarantine that the CDC recommends all travelers from places with COVID-19 to practice. Although now the US is just as infected, I am still practicing the guidelines set forth by the CDC. Luckily my family’s house has a yard that I can still go into, but I cannot go anywhere in public until Monday. And I am really looking forward to going on a grocery run just to get out of the house!

Overlook at Montserrat

Online school. Now that is something I was not prepared for! When my program first stated that they would be moving online, it seemed like a great advantage. I would get to see Spain and still get work done. However, that initial excitement ended with the realization of what it really meant. Now online school is a challenge. It seems that I now have double the workload because school work is now also homework. I am in the process of finding a routine to get school work done early so I have time to do other projects.

Arches at Montserrat

This whole situation and experience is teaching a lot about myself. I know that my resiliency is being tested and so is my creativeness. Which I something I think I lack in. This quarantine is giving a chance to work on projects that I have been meaning to do for years but have never found the time for. By the end of this experience, I think I will have learned that I can get through the though stuff and process it, and come out of it stronger than before. I have just a few more weeks of writing for this blog and I have no clue what I will write about but I am sure I will have something by next week as the world changes day-by-day and week-by-week.

Noemi Cerritos Gatto

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