Yeah, I can do this

As I brought my luggage to the bus, where the other students were waiting, the mountains greeted me like an old friend. I thought, “yeah, I can do this.”

The view of the Andes on my flight to Santiago.

A few minutes later, I panicked, the scene on the bus like a flashback to middle school. Where do I sit? Who looks friendly? Can I make new friends?

By the time the 2 hour bus trip to Valpara√≠so was finished, I was once again feeling confident. The girl I shared my seat with was friendly, intelligent, and kind. ¬†We were experiencing similar kinds of emotions. I thought, “yeah, maybe I can do this.”

But don’t let the length of time sink in. ¬†As we sat down to lunch, the girl on my left mentioned, “Can you believe we’re gonna be here 5 months?” Nope. ¬†I started worrying again.

The whole first day I went back and forth between these emotions. Confidence, panic; feel good, start worrying. Constantly conflicted, I had no idea what my life here was going to be like.  I just had to trust that things were going to fall into place.

Then I¬†met my host family. ¬†In Chile, people greet each other with a kiss on the cheek. ¬†After a warm “bienvenido,” we went back to my family’s¬†apartment, where I was also introduced to the grandparents, aunts, and other family members. ¬†After a few hours chatting and eating, I overheard my host mom say to her sister-in-law, “Monica speaks Spanish very well.”

You know what? Yeah, I can do this!


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