I'm sorry I've been off the map for longer than I planned. With getting my luggage (on Christmas), having my dad's family over to my house after Christmas, traveling down to Puerto Rico with the team for a week of training, and returning to school last week before everyone else to train some more, my life has been pretty crazy.
Puerto Rico was a ton of fun. We worked hard, the other study abroad girls and I got back into shape and met the new swimmers and divers, and we spent a lot of time lounging on the beach too. We even took a hike in the rain forest to a waterfall we got to swim in. Since then we've already had a meet. We lost, but I think everyone worked their hardest and swam amazingly, considering how tired we were. We've got another one coming up on Saturday so wish us luck. Overall, it's great being back with the team again.
Classes are back as well, of course. I enjoy them for the most part, though I'm still so tired at the end of the day. I'm taking Personality Theories, A Study Abroad Re-Entry journalism class, Philosophy of Human Being, Conversation Italian, and Sports Psychology. So far, so good, even with a lot of credits.
I've also taken up the blogging coordinator position for the semester and that's getting up and running too. Lots of Founder's Society meetings planned so far but I know it'll be good. Soon I'll start back up with my normal SMC posts, so if you've got anything you want to know about, leave a comment and I'll be all over it! (Same, I'm sure, goes for the rest of the bloggers).
Before I encountered my hectic return home, I said I would do some reflecting on my time abroad. I've done a lot of personal reflecting and talking to friends, but I thought that here I would post some of the amazing, once-in-a-lifetime things I got to do, which will serve as a reminder to me and help persuade all of you to come to SMC and go abroad with us. Of everything I learned and experienced, I think the most important thing is that the world is bigger than me and my small life, and I haven't even made a dent in it, but I want to. So, here's "the list":
A real Irish breakfast and a Guinness at the Brew House; seeing the Sagrada Familia mid-construction and partying with the real Barcelona crowd; eating at the world's oldest restaurant and standing on the center of Spain in Madrid; Seeing the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Van Gogh artwork, along with mass at Notre Dame on a Holy Day in Paris; riding one of the oldest Ferris Wheels and seeing Swan Lake in the gorgeous opera house in Vienna; Meeting new friends, going to the Christmas markets, and drinking beer at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich; Going on the Sound of Music Tour, riding Austria's oldest funicular railway, and drinking some of the world's best water in Salzburg; Attending a festival dedicated to chocolate; Seeing the David, Pieta, and Sistine Chapel Ceiling; Visiting the ruins at Pompeii; Having the best pizza and pastries in the world, and the freshest food; Visiting a sinking city and the hometown of Romeo and Juliet; Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea with the Alps in the background; having the best wines, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil; Seeing the leaning tower of Pisa and the Harvard of Italy; Eating Bolognese sauce in Bologna; Running a marathon through the historic streets of Florence; completing 5 paintings and having them called "artwork"; and drinking some of the world's best coffee.
Obviously my experience abroad can't be limited to only words...or to pictures or video for that matter. So, you're just going to have to explore for yourself. I'm hoping to get my life up and running smoothly soon and get more pictures up here/some new blog topics, so keep checking back, sending suggestions, and asking questions.
I'm happy to be back, I hope you're ready for a great semester!