23 Jul Absolute Challenge – Adjusting to the Shock – By Uroosa Malik
It’s officially been 3 weeks into the Madrid, Spain summer abroad program and I am thrilled to say that I have reached this far and learned so much! If you’re a first-time international traveler like me, then you must read on and join me along my journey.
It had been one of my biggest goals to intern abroad one day and venture into a world different than the one I call home, New York City. New York City is a fast paced environment, with different people from various backgrounds, all running in and out of subways trains to get to work and work as hard as they can, while of course – looking their best. As I grew up in the beautiful Big Apple, I was used to that hustle and bustle and hoped to apply my work ethic in a new home. I craved to see what else this world had to offer me, therefore, I applied to Absolute Internship and once I received my acceptance, I knew this was my time to shine!
I was beyond delighted and motivated to tackle the month with a positive mindset, and ready to learn from what was to come.
However, my first week did not go as planned… I couldn’t sleep the first few nights, I felt homesick, and I did not believe I could adjust well to my new internship. There was a language barrier at work, the transportation system was a little more complicated than I expected, and the time difference did not make things easier. I had a rush of emotions and thought to myself, “I hope it gets better.” and GUESS WHAT?! It did get better.. A LOT BETTER because you have to remind yourself…
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” The challenge and struggle is the beauty in growth and self-improvement.
Therefore, I put my skills to the test and took initiative. I did my research on the city, and walked the streets of Madrid tall and proud, as I knew I was here for a reason. I learned Spanish a little better, as I practiced while ordering food or communicating with my co-workers and showed my supervisor that I was ready to take on any project head-on. I traveled to Barcelona, Segovia, met incredible people along the way, and tried some delicious tapas! The beautiful, peaceful, and relaxed atmosphere of Madrid brought in a new perspective of life and allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, and adapt to environments I never expected to be a part of.
I have come a long way since the beginning of this trip and I must say, any challenge one faces of any new city, culture, or lifestyle, always remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You come out stronger, wiser, and a better YOU.
I’m off to Seville this weekend and I can’t wait to see what this remaining week holds for me!