Jess, she’s go big, or go home

“Jess, she’s go big, or go home,” my best friend, Kat, has said to describe me. She did have a point. When I find a favorite song, I listen to it about 5 or 6 times a day for weeks. When I wanted to lose the Freshman 15, I trained for a half marathon. When I wanted to learn how to sail, I joined the sailing team.

So when it came to studying abroad, I guess I can’t say I really surprised myself when I decided to go to Buenos Aires, Argentina for a year. After all, with a population of almost 13 million (the Greater Buenos Aires area), the city itself just screams GO BIG. But apart from the population alone, studying for a year seemed to be “going big” in and of itself. After all, I’d be living in another country, speaking another language, and learning a new culture for a full 365 days. Talk about “go big or go home”!

My name is Jessica Seline and I am a currently a sophomore studying Spanish and Anthropology with a Global Health Certificate. In about 3 months I will be living and studying in the bustling metropolis of Buenos Aires, Argentina. As part of my experience, I’ve decided to keep a blog to share with you the trials of learning a language, the excitement of meeting new people, the beauty of the places I will see and everything that comes with living in a new country.

So with my departure date quickly coming in to view, it is hard to describe exactly how I am feeling. It is certainly a rollercoaster of emotions-I wake up with heart pounding, palms sweating and mind racing with excitement one day, and the next I hold back tears as I think about my friends, family and the campus I have come to consider home that I will leave behind.

So what am I most excited for? My roommate, Kenzie, might have said it best. “Isn’t it crazy to think,” she said to me one day as I was cooking dinner, “that a year from today, you won’t have to even think when speaking Spanish?” She definitely nailed it-I am so excited to understand and become fluent in the language that I have been trying to learn for so long. I certainly hope her prediction comes true!

On the other hand, I have to admit, I am really sad to leave everything behind. The feeling hit me most this Easter. I was lucky enough to get to go to Florida with my sailing team, but the 20+ hour car ride back on the Saturday before Easter meant I wasn’t able to make it back to Minnesota to spend the holiday with my family. As I walked around the ghost town that Madison had become on Easter, I realized that not only would I be missing this holiday next year, but many other important moments too. I’d miss watching my 600-pound life with my roommates, running half marathons with my mom, visiting relatives on holidays, and going to regattas with my sailing team.

But even with the sadness and uncertainty that comes with leaving the country, I know that, in the end, it will all be worth it. I am going to learn so much, change so much, and see so much. And, that, to me, is worth studying abroad for. Look out Argentina-here I come!

Hasta luego,