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Home Again…The After Effects

I have been home now for almost one month and am staring down the face of another school year. In reflecting upon my experiences in Costa Rica, I have many insights, this one in particular: study abroad has to be the most worthwhile thing I have ever done in college. I studied in Mexico with the psychology department during my undergraduate years. It was not a language study program; not a Spanish language program anyway. I did learn a new language, however. I learned the language of Self. For the first time in my life, at the age of 20, I learned that I was an individual outside of the ideas, the values, the goals, the constructs of my family. I learned the language of self-acceptance and self- love. Between my earlier life-altering experience in Mexico in 1995 and this summer’s trip to Costa Rica, I have grown.
Costa Rica showed me that I still have expectations of “how things should be.” I was reminded very quickly that Costa Rica’s bus system does not work the same way as it does in the United States, that I could fight against the crowds, the lines, and the long hours as long as I wanted, but, ultimately, the buses in Costa Rica would be the buses in Costa Rica; accepting them as such was my best route to staying sane. And this applied across the board: to the food, the people, the culture, classmates and friends. It was how I controlled my expectations that determined whether I found myself frustrated by the difference or elated by the difference.
So, as I sit here preparing for another year, instead of dreading how my life will change again, I commit to having no expectations. With a positive attitude of knowing change is inevitable, I will eagerly await what comes my way. And I have been reminded that it is only through the way I choose to see things that all will be well.
Adios Costa Rica. Hola great reminders….

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    Something that I learned in school was that no matter how wonderful experiences away are, home is the most cherished of all. It is a base. Physically and emotionally it will always be there.