It was a hard decision to leave home. I was deciding to leave everyone and everything I have ever loved in my beautiful Madrid. I did it. I decided that studying and swimming in the US was going to make me happier than staying home. I could have never done this without the support of my family, so we did it.
I had never been to the United States. I did not know anything about this country apart from what I heard from a couple of friends who swam and studied here and the American movies. All I knew were stories but I did not have a clue of the culture I was getting into.
It was in March 2016 that I decided King University in Bristol, TN was the right school for me. In August I flew to New York city with my mum and my sisters and we stayed there for a couple of days. New York is just as amazing as it can get. After those days, we flew to Bristol. Bristol is so different to everywhere I had ever been in my life.
At first, everything was a shock for me. My culture has a lot of differences, plus I speak a different language at home. I have to admit that I knew English when I came here but the accent here was something I had never heard before. Schedules were different, swimming looked like a whole different sport, the food, the people, the way people socialize with each other, public transport…
Everything I had ever known was different. I guess I could say it was scary at first. I got to know my team, I got to know my neighbours at my dorm, I got to know more incoming freshman who were internationals and Americans too; and since that moment on I knew this was going to be my second home. King is now my home away from home, my safe place. I am not only getting an academic education, I have learnt so many things about myself here. I have learnt way more than chemistry and biology, I have learnt and I am still learning about life. Everyday I discover something I did not know. This place has shown me how the world can have infinite perspectives and points of view. I learnt how to be independent, how to trust myself and how to not trust everyone else. I know now that we are powerful enough to make our own decisions and that we need to deal with all the consequences of those decisions. I learnt how to manage my time better. I learnt what missing someone actually felt like and how we are the choices that we make and how we deal with them. It was not always easy but I can proudly say it was worth it. I learnt things not only about myself, but also about others. I have a new family at King. I met so many people who are now a priority in my life. Most of the friends I made in Bristol are the people I want to share my life with. They have made me better in every single way.
Guest Blogger, Macarena Martin Mayor, King University Class of 2020