It is an awesome feeling imagining how it is going to be stepping off the plane in a place where the lingua franca is something you can’t really understand. You begin to paint mental images of how it might be when that moment comes. Will it be an immediate hustle and bustle in a crowded airport with beautiful people whose lips allow foreign sounds to dance away from them? Or will it be instantly terrifying and isolating with too much stimuli for my mind to decipher at once? You land and step off the plane feel the heat (mental and literal). It is time.
School starts in two days; you forgot your book bag in the United States and all the Spanish you previously thought you understood is forgotten the moment you realize you did not study the words “baggage claim”. You have no idea where to pick up your luggage, so you just walk with everyone to avoid drawing suspicion to yourself.
Once settled into a makeshift routine, you begin to feel comfortable. Normal “school” things are happening– they just have different names. Homework is now tarea, midterms are now examen parcial, and the professors might show up late, but grade with complete accuracy. You begin to redefine words and sayings like “family” and “jk” (for cultural purposes) and begin to spell “hahaha “with j’s so it looks like “jajajaja”. To top it off, you appreciate these changes completely, learning at literally every corner, spending nights studying and partying, or meeting acquaintances that are either Tico or American. There is a quiet epiphany that occurs in that small moment of looking up in the library at a Tico who looks just as stressed as you feel, with books on the desk, pen in hand, and papers scattered around. In that moment there is an unspoken understanding. We are college students, different in a multitude of ways. But, like millions around the world, we are in school.
Vivir pura Vida todos los días.
Written by Jeniecce Tucker, Social Media Journalist