This is probably the hardest post to write..not because I don’t have anything to write about, or because I’m bored, but to begin to describe all of the experiences I have had is unfathomable (along with taking a momentary step back from these incredible experiences to write a blog post that my 30 year old self will be thankful for). The funny thing is, I consider myself a fairly inconsistent person—I’m constantly adapting, trying to improve, and ~attempting~ to mold myself into the person I want to be. But in the last few weeks, I think I’ve changed more than I have in the last few years. A complete immersion in Spanish culture hasn’t just brought about liberation from my fear of trying new foods (I’m a super picky eater), life-long friendships to cherish, and a complete cultural (and language) immersion, but it has allowed me to adopt a new, and much needed, frame of mind. Every encounter I’ve had here I’ve seen as an opportunity to grow, to learn, to understand perspective from another point of view, and hopefully test and change, if necessary, my point of view. The people I’m surrounded by live in a world so different from that which drives Americans with their pervasive sense of urgency to be more efficient, get more done, to do more, and to do it all at once. I don’t remember at what point I looked around in my life and realized there were more obligations than time. Since when is that healthy, or even beneficial to my life and wellbeing. I can remember talking to a recruiter at a large firm jokingly telling me about the office tasks (which are actually separate, full-time jobs for most companies) that people volunteer to complete during their “magic” or free time. Looking around at the friends I’ve made, many of them have temporary jobs, or no job at all for that matter. They spend the majority of their time with friends and family, exploring the world, or enjoying the company of strangers who later become close friends like myself. While it might not be possible for me to have no job and spend all my time enjoying life without worries, it definitely puts in perspective the American lifestyle, or at least that I’ve chosen to adopt for myself. Will I continue to be involved extracurricularly, academically, and in the job world? Absolutely. Will I lose much needed sleep, nutrition, time with friends and family, time to exercise and enjoy leisurely activities over trying to maintain a near perfect GPA, build an awesome resume, weekly chats with recruiters, and overbooking myself past the point of what could possibly be enjoyable? Absolutely not. Life is too short to spend it forever looking toward the next task at hand. Goals are important, but so are dreams, and so are the wonderful souls in your life. Thank you to the beautiful friends and city that surrounds me and are pushing me to enjoy life more, experience more of life, and to truly cherish those around me and pour the time and love into them that they deserve.