In honor of Halloween, I figured I’d talk about how studying abroad makes me feel like a princess.
I could take this post a lot of directions, but for now I think a conversation I had with one of my flatmates best describes it. I was explaining how I was planning on missing a class later in the week because I had plans to experience part of the city. She called it punk and I laughed. “I don’t really know who I am sometimes,” I chuckled, “I would never do this in the states.”
That’s true. In the states, back home, I am much more responsible. I am more uptight. I wake up, study, go to the activities that look good on my resume, do homework, shower, go to bed. Hopefully, I eat somewhere in there if I remember to do so. Weekends, I catch up on work and sleep. I spend time with family and friends doing the same tired old things. I am not necessarily fun. I am not spontaneous.
Here in Puebla, I have become a second, better, version of myself. I (like to believe I) am fun, spontaneous, adventurous. I laugh more and worry less. Sometimes I skip class to try a new restaurant or see a new sight. I stay up late because tacos taste better at 3 AM. I start conversations with uber drivers even though I know that I am probably going to make a fool of myself. On the weekends, I go dancing even though I know I can’t dance. Homework is important, but experiences are more so. I try foods like cactus and crickets. I kiss the boy. I wear that thing in a way I’ve always wanted to, but never had the courage to.
Yet, as we move into the last full month of my study abroad experience, I feel like I am Cinderella and my midnight is approaching. And when I go home, I fear that the carriage turns back into a pumpkin, the dress becomes tattered, and I end up with only one shoe but there will be no Prince Charming chasing after me. I know, though, that since I have experienced this life, gotten out of the every day dust and seen in the light of a new country the things I can be, that I can work to embrace this person when I return home.
I have fallen in love with who I am. I like this Cinderella version of myself. I believe she’s here to stay.
Study abroad and get your own Cinderella moment, because I assure you that it is absolutely life changing.