Hey guys! My name is David Zulli, I am a 3rd-year IRG and Anthropology major, and I am studying abroad in Granada, Spain. As of right now, I am approaching the end of my semester abroad. In fact, I leave in just a few short days after I take my finals. As such, I have been spending a lot of time thinking, reminiscing, pondering, reflecting. I am thankful for all that I have learned. I am thankful for all that I have grown. I am thankful for all that I have gained. When I leave Spain, I will leave with a greater understanding of the Spanish language, with a whole cohort of lifelong friends, and with a scrapbook’s worth of picture-perfect memories. Yes, I am incredibly thankful.
This semester, I learned that every person is responsible for their own happiness. A rather simple concept in theory, one that I have always in a sense “known,” but also one that can be difficult in execution. As a highly social person, it can be very easy for me to become overly comfortable in the company of others. And sometimes, this can morph into co-dependence. This semester, through the people and experiences it has brought into my life, has taught me that the most valuable and memorable moments are those in which you are intentional in pursuing your happiness, those in which you are not afraid of being alone, and those in which you embrace change. For example, in my previous blog post I wrote how a spontaneous trip to Paris for my birthday by myself (while all my other friends went to Amsterdam together) ended up being one of the greatest experiences of my life. I took a risk that I normally would not have, acted on my own accord, and really grabbed my study-abroad experience by the horns. In this instance, I took accountability for my happiness and was fulfilled beyond belief.
And now, as I approach the end of my time here, I am filled with the joy and positivity that friendships bring, and for that I am incredibly thankful. Moving forward, I hope to continue to protect my happiness as an act of self-care, continually working towards constructing an environment that is filled with support and love. Moreover, I hope that I never let any fear of change impede this process. This is my commitment to myself for the future, and this is what I intend to bring back with me to the States.
This post was contributed by David Zulli, a 2019 Global Ambassador majoring in International Relations and Global Studies and Anthropology. David is studying abroad on the AIFS: Granada affiliate program.
Don’t get left behind. Read more about David’s experience abroad>>