I am writing this from the gazebo on my lunch break at the Foreign Service Institute. One of the major things I’ll miss here is the absolutely amazing campus we have with trees, paths, places to escape the classroom.
I’ve been meaning to write a post like this for a while. TLDR: language training is hard. I am both amazed at how far I’ve come in Spanish and how much there is left to learn even after the 3/3.
I am 3 weeks out from my end of training exam and at times, have never felt so stressed in my life.
While I still completely love the fact that I get paid to learn Spanish, it is honestly much harder than I imagined. Sometimes I’ve found myself overly comparing myself with my colleagues and their results- even though I have met or surpassed our goal on every test.
Also, I wish someone had told me that language does end up taking over your entire social life. I’ve had to work harder than I thought to keep a balance between spending time with friends, exercising, and studying. And this is me as a young, single person without other responsibilities like a spouse or kids. I’ve honestly forgotten what life was like before I had homework and language studies all the time.
I am deeply looking forward to later this year in Mexico when I can actually start doing consular work. It’s easy to lose track of why I’m really learning Spanish- not to argue over nuances of a political opinion article on Argentina’s “dirty war,” but to adjudicate visas in a crucial part of the world and help Americans at the border.