Mariana, a Brazilian high school exchange student living in Wetumpka, Alabama, introduced herself to you via this blog in December. She has been reflecting on her year and realizes her time remaining in the US is short! Here’s her latest thoughts on her experience and what she’s learned about savoring every moment.

Hello 🙂
I have now completed 7 months living in America!!! And I only have 3 more months living my experience and my dream of being an exchange student.

Time here flies by!!! In the beginning of the year, time was like an enemy for me. I thought it would pass by so slowly. But I noticed if I started worrying about the time here and the time left until I could see my family again, it would start going by slower and slower and make me homesick.

So, I asked myself, why choose time to be your enemy if it can be your friend and just help you? Yes, 10 months are a long time to be away from your family, friends and your culture. But 10 months are such a short time to learn a new language, make friends for the rest of your life, and enjoy every single possible moment in this wonderful experience. Besides, 10 months are nothing compared to the rest of your life with your family in your culture.

When I started thinking the positive way, I started enjoying everything a lot more and the time flew by! I remember when I was here for 3 months and I had 7 more months to enjoy and learn. But now I’ve been living here for 7 and leaving in 3 months 🙁

Now that I realize that I only have few more months here, I really want time to stop completely!!! I still have a lot to learn and enjoy and I can’t think about leaving in a little while. I made friends here that I’ll carry to the rest of my life and I really don’t want to leave them (Can I take some to Brazil with me? Lol). I’ve been through experiences and situations that I’ll never forget and have learned a lot. And of course, I now also have lots of stories to tell people.

As I still have some time as an American teenager, I’m going to enjoy every second here and learn and experience everything I can. I hope every exchange student does the same, because we only have this experience once in our lives! Time flies by, so enjoy every single moment because time doesn’t come back! 😀

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” William Shakespeare