Last summer, right before I was to head back to Marquette for my sophomore year, my grandmother passed away. Her and I had a special bond. I was the only granddaughter and am approximately seven years behind my cousins and brother, it's safe to say I was a surprise. Frances, yes my grandmother has a kick-butt name like Frances, taught me how to find good bargains, let me sit in the tub until my hands and feet were pruney when I was young, and introduced me to Shirley Temple. Grandma Fran was a cool cat.
Upon hearing the news of loosing our program director, Femy, I was extremely sad. I lost the professor who really made me decide, with 100 percent of my body, that I wanted to go to Madrid, Spain to study abroad. She instilled hope in her students and made them feel smart and successful, she had a lot of qualities that reminded me of my grandmother. I never really noticed this until Friday, when unexpectedly, but naturally, all of the feelings of loss and remorse came back.
It's not easy starting a semester with a loss. It, regrettably, seems to be a trend right now. Focusing is difficult, sleeping is even harder, and even a little One Direction doesn't seem to light up my world like it used to, but the one thing that does, is my Madrileño family.
I really cannot emphasize enough that when you study abroad, the people you are with become your support system. We are always there for one another and if something isn't going well, we find a way to turn it around. We all become exhausted when we think about Femy. I certainly do because it reminds me of how much I miss my grandmother as well, but the beauty of studying abroad is that you have a new family and a new place to distract you from the pain you are feeling.
You learn something new everyday, and today I have learned that study abroad as more faces to it than traveling and going out in the evenings. The educational experience makes you realize the importance of support, family and how regardless of language barriers, everyone knows what it feels to loose someone and feel that pain deeply.