So after that first, hard but growing summer came my second college summer.
This was essentially the complete opposite.
Instead of being responsible for the well-being of ten girls each week, I was only responsible for myself.
Instead of eating rushed meals, keeping a strict schedule, and packing in hours of work and exhaustion, I held all my time captive, able to spend and use it at my leisure and for my pleasure. Instead of crisscrossing the beautiful campground I had become familiar with over the past decade, I was experiencing brand new footfalls, exploring a brand new place.
Yes, living and studying in Spain during the summer of 2013 was one of the best decisions of my life.
There were hard moments too, though, and lots of growth. I was homesick a few different days, most especially when the heat was oppressive and there was no AC to be found, or when I had so much to say but frustratingly was unable to express myself fully.
I became the craziest version of myself. I learned to relax and "go-with-the-flow" as well as being open to trying new things and saying yes more often than no. It was an exhilarating feeling. I felt like I had control of my life and decisions in a way never given to me before.
I also learned how to live and converse in a foreign language (duh, the reason for going), how to make friends in a completely new place, how to stay out late and get up early, how to navigate a city solo, how to be confident in myself.
I understand that every summer can't be like that summer, but damn do I miss it.