I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about how I want to spend the rest of my time while I am studying abroad. I have been in Buenos Aires for over 2 months now and I have a little less than 3 months left (I did the early-start intensive language month which is why my trip is so long). When I arrived I did what I always do and filled my schedule with all sorts of plans and commitments. I took on an internship 15 hours a week, a full class schedule (5 classes, all in Spanish), blogging, dance classes, weekend trips, and so on. I am so happy I did because I have had such a full experience so far. But another part of me has started to wonder: is it too much?
Anyone who knows me well will tell you I am a bit of an overachiever (or maybe more than a bit). But one of the great effects of studying abroad is that it is making me relax about a lot of things. That in turn is making me question some of the ways I have done things in the past, and whether or not I want to continue to do them the same way. This sort of self-reflection is something that has happened to a lot of my friends here. There is something about getting out of your normal environment and going to a place where no one knows you that really makes you look inward and get to know yourself in a new way. For example, I have made the decision since I arrived here that I want travel to be a big part of my lifestyle and career after I graduate, and I am even considering living outside of the US or going to graduate school abroad. For another, I am questioning some of my patterns and whether or not they are really in line with who I am and who I want to be . . . which leads me to time management.
So far the conclusion I've reached is that I would like to find a balance; something between the usual harried, 4 hours of sleep per night, work hard/party hard lifestyle I'm used to and totally letting go of any commitments (other than school). I might do my internship for only 3 months, rather than 4 for example. And I'm going to try to stop stressing out about trying to do and see EVERYTHING while I am here, and instead just do my best to live in the moment and enjoy whatever comes. I am already in love with this city and having the time of my life. Not seeing every sight or going to every event isn't going to change that.
Here's to a new, more relaxed Makena and an unforgettable 3 months . . . :)