Dana Drosdick

Dana Drosdick
Sophomore
Digital Communications and Spanish
Ballston Spa, New York

One World, A Thousand Cultures

No matter how much you plan, you can never quite get everything right. I made thousands of to-do lists, read hundreds of blogs and articles, and thought I had learned everything I needed to know. I was, as usual, wrong. In some ways, Spain is exactly what I expected. However, in others, it’s totally foreign and new. There’s so much culture and history that I didn’t realize, and so many small idiosyncrasies that differ between Spain and the United States.

Already I am learning many valuable lessons and creating memories that will last a lifetime. I’m learning about a new way of life, and trying my hardest to adjust to it. At times, it’s difficult. Often times my head feels like it’s been hit with a ton of bricks after spending an entire day only speaking, reading and writing in Spanish. There are moments when I switch into English with my friends from home and I think, “Wait, what’s that word again? Oh! Countryside. Yup. That’s a word.” At the same time, there are many times when I’m speaking in Spanish and randomly an English word pops in there. It happens.

There are definitely moments when I ask myself why I’m here. More importantly, I ask myself if I’m ready to be here. All my life I’ve dreamed of traveling and leaving the United States. And yet, here I am, away from home and in a brand new culture. It’s a weird feeling when your dream comes true. What if it’s not all it’s cracked up to be? What if you find out your dream was a waste of time? I have a lot riding on this trip; more than I initially thought. However, it’s only the first week. I have many more weeks to decide whether or not traveling is all it’s said to be.

In light of all the changes and the craziness, I wanted to share a few of the major differences between Spanish and American culture with you. Through sharing these differences, hopefully you’ll be able to feel as if you were here with me, experiencing this brand new world that is both totally the same and totally different. Enjoy!