Barcelona has been the most amazing experience of my life. Before living in Europe, I can easily say that I was very different person. I was a scared little girl who had a lot of growing up to do. I had always my mother and father to help stitch up my rough patches, and my friends at school to rely on for help. When I came here, however, I had no parents, and I had less school friends. In the end, I learned to rely on myself more, and to finally become more independent. In the end, I grew up.

Living in Barcelona for four months went by too fast. I really can’t believe it is all over. My small apartment holds so many wonderful memories with my three roommates, and we have become a family. We have formed a home. My uncomfortable, narrow bed now brings me a perfect sleep, and my small, space shuttle shower finally soothes my skin. I can now open up our apartment door with one hand and a key, when before, two hands yanking the knob for ten minutes would still not bring a budge. I can now order my coffees with a perfect Catalan accent, and I can cook meals other than an omelet and piece of bread. I am master-metro taker, and I am an expert street stroller. I know the good shops, I’ve experienced the good meals. I am a proud promoter of the cheap vodka, and cheaper wine, and I have accepted the fact that water costs money at meals. Right when it seems like I am adjusting to my new life in Europe is right when I have to leave. Right when I feel like I am the happiest is right when I am shattered with grief. I can’t believe it’s over. Where has time gone?

In Barcelona world, the students are friendly, the teachers are fun, the workload is good. I have busied my days going to class and returning home to my three loving, best friend roommates. Our nights were filled with crazy adventures tackling the town and venturing to the flashing, bright clubs. And our days were filled with beach adventures and city exploring. Many friendships were formed, and many memories were made.

I feel sorrow for those who were not as lucky as I to experience such an amazing 4-month adventure. I learned so many things about the world, and I learned so many things about myself. But am I ready to leave? I still do not know.

I am so scared. Change devastates me. I have become so adjusted to my new, near perfect life in Barcelona, that I can’t even imagine returning to the United States. What will it be like? I have so many questions and no answers.

I will no longer take the metro, I will no longer eavesdrop on spanish conversations, and I will no longer share my apartment with me beautiful three best friends. I will no longer visit Park Guell, the beach, the fountain show, the mountains. I will no longer see all of these wonderful CEA students and faculty that I have grown to love so much. The faces will vanish, and the school will be gone. The euros will be replaced with dollars and the sunshine with breeze. No more CEA or moodle. No more tapas or cheap wine. I will no longer be dancing in the clubs and lounging at the bars. And I will no longer be standing in my favorite Bo’De B line or splurging on gelato. My Barcelona figure will become a ghost in the shadows, and I will only have memories and dreams.

It hurts so much to think that I am leaving. I don’t want to, but I know that in order to begin one chapter, I must end this one. But it’s a happy ending, because it was an amazing experience. I am so lucky, grateful and proud. I will return to the United States, and I will scream I love Barcelona. Everyone will hear of this amazing city, and I hope they will see the light in my eyes. I will never forget Barcelona, and I hope it will remember me as well.

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