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Memories of An Exchange Student

Elisa Jiménez, Staff Writer

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It has been now eight months since I left my home country and I have one month left until I go back to it. Time has gone so fast- too fast I’d say. I look back and it looks like it was yesterday when I started school or I stepped into a Walmart for the first time. So many things have happened since then; these eight months are full of great memories that I will never forget and experiences that definitely have made me see life in a different way.

I have had the opportunity to know a culture very different from mine firsthand and that has brought me many things with an incalculable value. At the beginning, not being in my comfort zone, things were not as easy as what I was used to. I did not know anyone and I did not speak the language very well, it was like starting a new life from scratch. But little by little I got used to the new routine and I learned to appreciate small things, the details of everyday life, like someone I had met the day before smiled at me down the hallway or that a group of people wanted me to work with them for a project. I started to get involved in more things and to maintain myself busy and time flew.

 

I have tried so many new things during this time, things that I would have never done if I was in Spain. For example, I joined the track & field team. That was a sport that I had never done before, and it was hard for me but I enjoyed it and I learned not to give up even if things take a lot of work. At the end of the day, everything you work hard for is worth it.

 

 

I am so glad I got to live in Texas because this big state has a lot of things to offer and a great cultural variety. I have lived a complete and wonderful American year, among other things, I went trick or treating on Halloween, I celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time, I went on an awesome trip to Houston with my family, Christmas was completely different, we had a great time during Spring Break and I went to Prom. I have also learned part of the Mexican culture. I have tried their delicious dishes and discovered some of their traditions. I think that the fact of having lived in a place like Texas has been a unique opportunity that has enriched me with a lot of moral values and knowledge.

 

This year wouldn’t have possible without all the people who were part of it. I have had a wonderful family that welcomed me at my worst moment and that made me feel one of them from the beginning. They have been there for everything, they have been my main support and undoubtedly they have become a real family for me. So from here, I want to thank them for everything they have done for me, from making supper every day to taking me to a lot of different places, and for getting me always to smile.

 

This experience has also given me the great opportunity to know other exchange students, like me, from other countries with which I have exchanged my culture and my thoughts. Some of them have become really important to me and I will definitely keep in touch with them. I also feel really proud and happy to belong to something like the GrassBurr newspaper online of the school and to work with such an amazing team which makes every class a little more special. There have been people that came into my life and stayed, some others that left and others that never came to enter, but I am really happy with what I have and with all the people that I have met and have been part of my experience. I also want to thank with all my heart my parents because they are who have truly made possible the fact that I came here and made this dream to become true and for supporting me in everything.

 

This experience has made me, without any doubt, grown up as a person. I have lived beautiful moments and I have known incredible people. At the same time being far away from my country, my family, my friends and everything that entails has made appreciate what I have at home and seeing things with a different perspective. I wouldn’t change this year for anything in the world and I think, as I said in my first GrassBurr story, that everyone who has the opportunity to make an exchange should do it. It is worth it. And there can be hard moments, but it gives you so many things that at the end, the harder thing is having to say goodbye to this new life.

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Memories of An Exchange Student