The musings and misadventures of a girl unprepared

Monday, 11 August 2014



Once again I've managed to leave a significant amount of time between blog posts whilst ONE MILLION AND ONE things have been happening, so now I have insane amounts to write about and literally no idea where to start. Well actually that's a lie, because I've decided to start with the present day and eventually work my way backwards through all the exciting things that have been happening to me during my accidental month hiatus, which include but are not limited to:

Living in the COOLEST hostel in San Cris.

Hitchhiking to Agua Azul and Palenque.

Crawling through caves.

Climbing waterfalls.

A two day house party.

And meeting some of the most awesome people who have ever existed (this applies to all of the above!!)

But for now, I'm going to have a therapeutic rant about the fact that I am starting university in TWO DAYS. Actually on Wednesday, meaning that that it is less that two official days. And it is safe to say that I am absolutely bloody terrified and utterly unprepared. And no, I am not writing that in order to gain sympathy and 'I bet you'll be fine' pats on the back, I really am so unprepared and not ready, that I actually keep having to laugh to myself about it so I don't start to cry.

For those of you who don't know, when you study languages in the UK the third year of your studies is spent abroad in a country (or countries) where the language(s) you study is/are the native language. For me, as I study German and Spanish, I chose Germany and Mexico, with my first term being spent studying at UNAM in Mexico City and my second term at Humboldt in Berlin. Which all sounds rather wonderful, until you consider that ALL of the classes are taught in the native language. All of them. Every single one.

"Well duh Emily, what did you expect? You are studying a language degree after all!", I hear you cry.

Well.... yes. I know. 

And knowing this information, any sensible person would have been trying to vigorously prepare themselves for months on end, with lots of grammar revision and intense speaking practise, where as I decided to travel around Mexico, attempting get over my social anxiety of speaking foreign languages to foreign people. Which I can proudly say, I finally did *hooray!*. However, although now I'm not so scared about actually talking to people, I have very minimal understanding of academic Spanish at all, plus the idea of having to speak in front of a group of people in a classroom literally frightens me to death. PLUS if I'm being totally honest, the amount of time I've spent intensely speaking solely Spanish and not Spanglish is pretty minimal. So as you can imagine, the idea of spending entire days of my life in a classroom, where next to no one speaks a word of English and participation is considered a key part of my overall grade is pretty darn scary.

The annoying part of this whole thing is that I am super keen to learn and improve and attempt to become a proper Mexican, but depending on my level anxiety on any given day my ability to actually show this interest could range from anywhere between 'I'M ON TOP OF THE WORLD COME AT ME MEXICO' to 'please, literally, no one talk to me, or I might spontaneously combust'. Luckily, I very rarely hit the extremes, but you get the idea.

The positive side of all this, however, is that after travelling for just over two and a half months, the concept of a routine and actually having a base camp has become quite appealing to me. It's been nice to finally settle down in my own place (which just happens to be a penthouse flat overlooking a park... having a friend who's sisters live in DF has proved insanely beneficial), and finally unpack my backpack so I actually have a feeling of permanence about my stay now. Though at first it was a tad strange sleeping in a room by myself after so long in dorm rooms and after unpacking I discovered I'd hardly brought anything with me. Oops. Anyway it's so awesome that I'm getting to live abroad for the first time, because it's kind of like constantly travelling, but you have your own house so you don't have to carry all your shit with you wherever you go.

I'm not really sure where I was going with this post, but I felt it really was about time I wrote something. I promise next time I'll write about something more interesting, like how I eventually sorted my status as an accident illegal immigrant or how the first time I ever went hitchhiking happened to be on one of the most dangerous and difficult roads to hitchhike on in Mexico (y).

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