Now I Know What College is Like

Apply to college, I thought I had to go away to get the full college experience. I applied to 13 schools to try to find a school I liked better than TCU and was as far away as possible. It wasn’t that I didn’t like Texas or didn’t want to be close to my family, but I wanted to have the full college experience, and I didn’t think that was possible so close to home.

But, boy was I wrong. And I’m glad I was.

Being so close to home proved to be so valuable for me especially while I have been dealing with all my food allergy stuff. I loved being able to drive home to grab something whenever, and moving in and out has never been too much of pain.

But there was that one thing I knew was missing. Every break, all my friends would be so excited to go home and see their families. I never really got this excitement. The fifteen minute drive was just not the adrenaline rush I felt like my friends were having going home to their families.

 

Well, this summer has been my “college experience”. Not only did I spend 10 weeks away from home, I was over 4,300 miles from home. A call home wasn’t that simple either. 7 hour time difference proved to be really difficult with all our schedules. The first week I found myself making time to call home, but quickly the business of the weeks took over. I struggled to find time to talk to anyone back home.

I quickly started counting down the weeks until I would meet my mom in the airport in London.

Texting my mom as I was on my way to the airport where she had just landed, I could feel the excitement of “going home”. I was going to see my mom so soon and I was so excited.

 

There’s definitely benefits to staying close to home for college, but I yearned for the same excited feeling to go home that my friends had. I had finally experienced it, and understood it. It is amazing what you take for granted when it is right there in front of you.

 

My mom’s hugs never felt so good.

 

Can’t wait to meet up with the rest of my family in the next few weeks.

 

XOXO,

Kaitlyn Callaghan

Barcelona

Every time my doctors I was with for the week asked me where I was going this weekend, they would always chuckle a little when I told them Barcelona. BUT HOW COULD YOU COME TO SPAIN WITHOUT GOING TO BARCELONA? I feel like that is a must if you are in Spain and it’s a possibility – it’s like going to England and not going to London or going to France and not going to Paris. You just can’t do that.

So Friday afternoon, we packed our bags and began the six hour bus ride to Barcelona from Teruel. (Too bad we were traveling cheap and didn’t want to pay for the fast train because this was probably the longest bus ride of my life.)

We arrived there that night and finally ate dinner at 11pm. (I think I’m beating the Europeans at t their own game of late dinners now lol.) Headed to bed after dinner to prepare for our long day of touring Saturday.

 

WOW and were they right – Barcelona is an amazing city. The Sagrada Familia is such an amazing Basilica and I have not see anything like it ever before – (and I’ve seen a lot of cathedrals and basilicas in my life time and just in my time in Spain. It was fun to be true tourists as we hopped on and off the Hop-on-Hop-off bus.

We got the chance to see all the famous Goudi buildings in Spain, drive by the beach, see the Olympic Stadium, and get a wonderful view of the city. I so wish we had more time (and the money, but we could already feel the debt in our futures from med-school lingering over our heads) to tour the incredible Goudi buildings and other sites in Barcelona.

We were all so exhausted and so hungry for dinner but I had one last thing I wanted to do before we left in the morning – see the Montjuic Magical Fountain at night but this didn’t start until 9:30/10 so we were going to play the late dinner game one more time.

The girls headed to watch the light and music show at the fountain while the guys headed to watch a soccer game at some bar, typical. We had to break up into two taxis unfortunately so I arrived with the first few of us and we walked over to the fountain. As soon as we arrived, one of the girls realized that her phone was missing. So we quickly moved to retrace our steps with a small hope that it had fallen out a few steps back and had not been pick-pocketed.

Unfortunately, the latter was true. We finally found the other group of girls and two of them ran off to report the lost phone. The three of us left at the fountain stood and enjoyed the fountain thinking they would be back soon. 11:30 finally came and we realized that they had been gone for like 45 minutes so we texted them and met them at the police station.

We were all starting to die of hunger and the three of us headed to go grab food for everyone. We sit down at the first restaurant we find and just let out an exacerbated laugh when we look at our phones and it is midnight and we are just now sitting down for dinner. (See Europe, two can play at the late dinner game.)

We thought things couldn’t get worse until they did. The next morning we were standing in the lobby of our hostel at 7:20 and neither taxi that we had asked the reception to call the night before was there and our bus left the station in 30 minutes. Thankfully, someone just arrived via taxi so we grabbed their taxi and asked him to call another one.

 

We were going to make it.

 

I tell the second taxi driver which station we were going to and he takes off. Perfect I sit back and relax excited to get some sleep on the bus. The taxi driver pulls up to a corner and points at the station down the street then does something to the taxi fair price machine thing in the front and the price of the taxi like doubles. We all look at each other confused but shrug since we are in a rush and just want to make our bus.

 

We walk up to the station and I don’t see any buses.

 

My heart drops. No, no this can’t be happening. I can’t have lead them to the wrong place. We have to get back. I go up to the counter and talk to the attendant tells me we are at the wrong station. YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. I told him estacion norte and he took us to estacion francia – THEY DON’T EVEN SOUND THE SAME. The one time I don’t follow the driver on my phone of course, my luck.

 

We scramble out and jump in a taxi as fast as we can praying we can make the bus still. We pull up at estacion norte at 7:45 – 5 minutes maybe we can make it. However, we run into the other half of our group and they can’t find the bus. We quickly learn that our bus somehow doesn’t exist and have to just get bus tickets to Zaragoza which is halfway back and figure out the rest of the trip back there.

 

Great, great. They are all going to hate me for this. I felt so bad, but they were all such great sports. We were all so exhausted from the day before but no one really complained about it and we just took a nice little nap in the bus station until our bus left.

 

We finally got back at 5:30 that night and unfortunately missed the hike we were suppose to go on that afternoon. But at least now we have a story to laugh about later.

 

But Barcelona was amazing despite all the minor incidents. I hope that I will be able to go back for a longer time and see everything. It is just so different from the rest of Spain.

 

One week left :/ Don’t want to leave Spain

 

XOXO,

Kaitlyn