Evanston, IL… 1 Day Before School Starts

It is great to be back home! After 8 weeks in Mexico, I was starting to get really homesick. But as I am laying on my bed waiting for school to begin, I am thinking, “WOW! What an unforgettable summer I just experienced.” I literally just went to the largest city in Latin America. I traveled on the Metro and walked miles to school in the chaotic streets. I got to practice my Spanish A TON. I did research on palliative care in one of the top cancer institutes in Latin America. I explored my culinary limits (crickets and papaya did the trick). I climbed to the top of some of the grandest pyramids on Earth. I never thought I would do any of these things in my life, let alone one summer. And most of all, although I traveled without any family or close friends for support, I came back with new ones that I made over there. Everyone that was part of the Public Health in Mexico IPD program made me feel at home abroad. Lifelong friendships were definitely formed through the weeks in Mexico and I cannot wait to have a reunion with our group. Special shoutout to my host family (Maru and Jeanie) for treating us like their own and providing anything and everything we needed.

As the start of school is approaching, I see all the freshmen on campus and I was reminded how similar I was to them in Mexico. Everything was brand new, I was nervous, and most of all, passive due to my inexperience. If there was one thing that Mexico City taught me, it was to be assertive and confident on everything I do and work for it. Talking to the many working class citizens of the city, I realized how nothing was given or granted to them and they had to work tirelessly for a living. The heart and soul of the Mexican people is extremely strong and I admire the passion they put into everything from their food to their crafts. Mexico has changed me for the better and I will strive this year to put in “ganas” towards graduating in Spring with my degree.