Hola amigos! This post won’t be too exciting since this was another week filled with classes and studying and headaches. I am excited, however, because tomorrow I will finally be going to the Andes Mountains to go snowboarding! I have been seeing these mountains almost all the time and have yet to pay them a visit, but finally I get to go and have a fun time attempting to snowboard (I can assure you there will be plenty of falling).
Anyways, after my 3 weeks here, I been having a tough time adjusting. Not only because of the language, the culture, or pure timidness, but because of the difficulty of balancing work and fun. I dealt with this issue back at Drexel University as well, but things felt simpler then. I could actually understand what was being said in my classes, I knew exactly what was going on in class, the syllabus listed the dates for everything, and I had plenty of time in my day for work and fun. However, things are way different here. I am completely lost in all my classes, the only thing I should be doing is reading the material for my classes, for some reason the day seems to go by faster, and professors hardly list dates for things. Thus, understanding what the professor is saying becomes much more important. You cannot simply just refer to the syllabus whenever you do not know what to do.
I have emailed my professors about everything and, matter of fact, they did not give me much assistance besides just telling me to keep up with reading the material and that I should be fine. Every time I approach this one professor, he just laughs at my confused appearance and tells me “you are going to pass do not worry.” Granted it does make me feel better, but I still do not understand what you are saying sir. At any rate, I have been trying to keep up with the readings, but those are difficult in itself as well. I am talking about over 100 pages of readings per class and more texts keep piling up. Even worse, the professors do not suggest due date or deadline to read the materials. It is more like “here is a list of the numerous texts you need to read for class….have fun!” This makes things even more nerve-wrecking when the exams in the class are based on both the lectures and the readings.
With all that weighing on my mind, I have not been going out much on the weekdays, which I thought was normal for someone in college, but the students here go out ALL THE TIME. I would ask them how they manage to do it, and they would tell me that it is just something normal for them. They even accused me of staying in too much or not wanting to be social which I replied, “Of course I want to go out and be social, but I have so much stuff to do that I feel like cannot!” However, they are all native Spanish speakers so I guess they are less worried about their classes. Nonetheless, it has been making me feel sort of gloomy. I see and hear a gang of students enter and leave the building all the time and it discourages me. I often ponder to myself: “why am I not going out?”, “this is may the only time I will ever be in Santiago, Chile,” maybe you are just boring.” And when those thoughts enter my mind I get inspired to leave the residency; yet, the second I step into class and I am bombarded with endless thoughts about how I am behind in class and seriously need to catch up.
On an optimistic note, I tell myself that it is okay to be stuck inside studying. I am not a fluent Spanish speaker; thus, I need to work way harder than all the other students. The weekdays will remain as work time, days in which I focus on completing tasks. Then, on the weekend, you can let loose and go out adventuring without pressure weighing on your mind.