The Luck of the Draw

Since beginning this adventure a week ago, I have seen more beautiful landscapes and had more travel and cultural experiences than ever before in my young lifetime.  While I hope the memories of these sights never escape me, it is the people I am traveling with that I hope to remember forever.

This small group of more redheads than boys has impressed me more than the uniqueness of Dali’s museum, or the magnificence of Gaudi’s Sagrada Famila, or even the beauty of Parc Guell.

While at home I can fall asleep in a single instant, here I lie awake at night thinking about the events of the day.  Details of the day play out in my mind with such vividness, I hear dialog and laughter, but it is revisiting the pure joy I get from the people I have been around this week that keeps me awake and the fact that I’ll be with them again tomorrow.

When choosing which study abroad to embark on, MSU allows for heaps of choice; country, subject matter, season, language, and professor.  However, one crucial element of the experience is completely left to chance: the group of students that will surround you.  This element will inevitably affect the entire trip, yet it is out of the participant’s control.   A group of peers could make or break the experience no matter where the backdrop, since you are essentially living, working, and spending every moment as a unit.

It seems we have truly gotten the luck of the draw with this group of talented individuals.  Our group dynamic constantly amazes me, the 11 of us mesh better than I ever expected.

It is hard to believe we have only known each other for little over a week.  We have moved far beyond the surface small talk of major and hometown, and are now getting to know everything from boyfriend’s names, to shoe sizes to life goals.  As we continue to grow closer and learn more about each other, I thought our loyal blog readers would enjoy a glimpse into our group dynamic, with a few words from me describing my new friends and the stars of this blawg.

Abbey is just one of those people you just want to be around, her personality is as beautiful and multifaceted as her photos.  Her grace as a dancer is transferred to everything she does, whether she is leading the group through the crowded metro or making sure everyone is having a good time when we are out at night, Abbey is hospitable, caring, and sincere.  It makes complete since that she loves to photograph people since it is so clear she loves being around them.

Adam has the unique ability to take sarcasm to a level where his statement is believable for a single instant before finding it completely hilarious.  His intelligent since of humor is magnetizing and we have all grown to absolutely love it in only a week’s time.  He is so witty and funny, and adds so much to the female dominated group.

It is so funny the impressions you get from people in the first moments of meeting.  Although Alanna is just as sweet as the first time I met her, her outgoing personality and amazing sense of humor have heightened over the week.   I originally thought Alanna was quiet and shy but as I’ve gotten to know her, this view has already dissipated.  She is full of life, outgoing and fun to be around.

When you find that friend you feel like you’ve known for years, but it has been merely days you know they are special, Catherine as a quality that makes you feel like you are with an old friend although it has been only days since you’ve met.  Her personality is as vibrant and warm as her bright red hair.

We are a group that loves a good office supply store, spending close to an hour in Konema, a Spanish office supply store recommended by Cheryl.   Therefore, if John was an office supply he would be the glue, since he is the one that keeps us all together.  Our fearless leader, John, who has been deemed ‘Papa John’ by Alanna, is so kind, protective, and fun.   Whether checking to make sure we’ve got everyone or waiting for the late riser of the day, John remains cool and collected.

Katy W. has such a lively attitude and embodies living in the moment.  Her love of trying new things, meeting new people, and experiencing everything this beautiful place has to offer is truly inspiring. She constantly reminds me we only live once and to live life to its absolute fullest. On top of her zest for life, is a giving heart, making her first to volunteer shoes to a group mate with lost luggage.

Nichelle has a way about her that makes every moment spent with her valuable as she unveils a bit more about herself in every conversation.  Nichelle, who none of us met before our arrival last Sunday could not fit in better with the group.   She is so poised and original, and after only knowing her for a few days I feel so comfortable around her already.

Laura E. seems to always be glowing with happiness and enthusiasm.  Classy and personable, her joie de vivre and smile have become contagious.  Yet another group leader, Laura E. watches out for everyone insuring their safety and smiles in everything we do.

As one of our two Spanish speakers, Laura F. is always happy to lend a hand to anyone in need and eager to improve her skills. She is unafraid of voicing her opinion and is completely individual.  Her enthusiasm and excitement for everything we do are as desirable as her mad twitter skills.

Lauryn has an amazing sense of confidence and independence, and is a perfect planner for the group.  She has the ease of a world traveler with the cautiousness of a preschool teacher making sure her classmates are having as much fun as she is.  Lauryn brings her spunk and liveliness into every situation, making everything more fun when she’s around.

In addition to the peers I was serendipitously assigned to, I speak for all of us, when I say we picked two inspirational professors, who are positive role models, and friends to each of us.   We have sincerely loved every moment spent with Cheryl this week, from the train, to the classroom, to our tappas dinners and we anxiously await Karl’s enthusiasm when he arrives this week.

They say you start to emulate qualities of those you surround yourself with; I hope there is truth to that statement because there is so much to love about these 11 individuals I have been around this week.

What a perfect first week.  Every day keeps getting better; I absolutely love Barcelona and my group!

-Katie D.

The entire group together for dinner Saturday evening after a day at the beach.



Filed under Barcelona

4 responses to “The Luck of the Draw

  1. lORIE

    What beautiful way to describe the group. I felt like I was watching a reality TV show (I never watch them) and the host was introducing the contestants. I would definitely say that the Karma was there when this group was put together. You are lucky and blessed. It seems like all of you are truly seekers and not bingers off to a foreign country to act like tourist and get drunk at every possible moment. Hats off to all of you!

  2. Marcy

    LOVED YOUR INSIGHT ON ALL YOUR NEW FRIENDS. I feel like I know them all! Is Adam the Man In the Yellow Hat from Halloween. Best Costume ever!!!

    I miss you, but am so happy you are having fun. Sounds like a great group and to think you were nervous about how you would all get along…..just perfect. Less is more in this case!!

  3. Amy

    Katie you amaze me with your writing and your thoughtful depiction of each person – the memories you are making and the friendships are awesome! Thanks to all of you for your writing and the blog – it keeps us connected to you all, and we are able to enjoy through your description and pictures your incredible trip and study abroad opportunity!

    Katie keep enjoying the moment, the new friends, and all the learning you are experiencing live and in person!

    Miss you but enjoying through the blog your great experiences!

    Enjoy your week ahead!

  4. Tia Gail

    Your writing style has a flair for complimenting and reflecting on the finer qualities and characteristics of people. Thank you for putting faces with names as I have enjoyed the journey with you and your newly found friends. Building memories creates lasting friendships.
    Especially have enjoyed the videos in others blogs too.
    Te Amo

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