As you embark on the college adventure, book your tickets to Spain and move into flats or residences, you might come across certain questions that everyone experiencing a major life change throughout the centuries have asked: Will the pressure be too much? Will I like my new city? Overall, will I adapt to my new environment?
Change is inevitable, and yet, it’s still very hard for some of us to experience. While this is true, I can almost assure you that your college years will be the very best of your life up to now. You have to do your bit too, though!
To help you with this, it is with love that the Lifestyle section at The Stork present you with some pieces of advice that can help you make your experience in Spain and IE as enriching as possible.
Make the city your playground
Congratulations! As of this autumn, you’ll live in a country known worldwide for its culture, people and food. So I urge you to enjoy the public parks and plazas, indulge in tardeo, learn to use the transportation system and get to know the language, even if just enough to get by. Don’t dismiss the nightlife either!
When you stop to think about it, all this knowledge will become second nature to you; when you stop and think, you might even consider Segovia or Madrid your home (I know I do).
Always try to live under the motto “today will be the best day of my life”. Get out of your comfort zone and even if you make mistakes, all of this will lead you to finding yourself to be home in your new environment.
Socialise and grow
Especially when adapting to a different environment, new friends are central to developing yourself. Unlike other universities, the people you’ll meet at IE will help you broaden your horizons in ways you’ve never thought before due to how international the environemnt of our university truly is. Remember that everyone is just as eager to make new friends as you, so you shouldn’t feel awkward when talking to new people!
Go into your first classes with an open mind, and before you know it you’ll have friends from different backgrounds with which to enjoy university life to the fullest. With some luck, you may even get to visit their home cities during spring or summer holidays!
Remember: Balance is key
Even if immersing yourself in Spanish culture and making lifelong bonds is very attractive and important, don’t make the mistake of disregarding academics! Try to stick to a study and work schedule from day 1, while always taking time to let off steam and have fun.
You can plan trips to nearby cities on the weekends (take these as an example for getaways near Segovia), but starting your first year, you’ll find it’s easy to have adventures even on weekdays and on the most common of places.
Tap into IE’s clubs and extracurricular activities
If IE offers their students something, it is the opportunity to get hands-on experience in a number of different industries. IE provides first-years with the possibility of entering labs (Marketing, Policy, Finance), internships and seminars, as well as professional and social clubs that will also allow you to meet more people, and overall expand your horizons.
Take care of your body and mind
During midterms and finals, you may find yourself having ramen noodles for the fifth time in a week, sleeping a mere four or five hours and overall disregarding your health on behalf of your grades.
But good performance in school is always based on a strong health, both physical and mental. Make sure to take some time to analyse how you’re feeling, and how you can improve your life with what’s within your means. And if you need additional support, don’t hesitate to contact the IE Counselling Service and check out their mission here.
I hope you have found these tips useful, and on behalf of The Stork I’d love to wish you an excellent summer and a great start to your college experience!