I am always trying to constantly go out with friends and classmates. No way do I want to be idle during my exchange. That was something I promised myself I would not do. I came here to have experiences and learn. However, there are days and weekends when I am just at home with my host family. These are some of my favorite days.

On weekends we will have lunch together and talk. I hear my family speak Slovak to each other while I will attempt to follow the conversation (and surprisingly understanding some of it). I watch their family dynamics and realize how truly lucky I am to be living with them as an exchange student. On these days whether I am with my host family or doing my own thing I have time to think. Even with trying to do as much as I can do I still have time where I can plunge into my own thoughts. This time has raised many questions. The kind people will ask teenagers and we have no idea how to reply. The kind that even the general population of people struggle to answer. The questions that most people don’t even know how to begin answering. If I think hard enough sometimes things make sense and sometimes it does not. Some questions are simpler teenager ones like: What classes do I take next year in high school?, How can I do my best on the SAT and ACT tests?, Who can I use as a resource and asks questions?, How and where can I apply for good scholarships?, Where should I go to college?, and What do I want to be when I grow up? Although they are not the hardest questions in the world, they all do have straight forward answers. The hard part is knowing what I should answer them with. What is right for me?

In turn I begin to start having to question myself. What kind of person do I want to be? What can I offer to the world to make it a better place? What am I interested in? How can I make my life worthwhile and at the same time fulfill the any lifestyle I may choose? Why am I here and how did I get here? Who am I? These are some pretty loaded questions. I am 16 years old so I figure I have a little bit of time to figure it out. But life is a running clock. So I am left here with some very much unanswered questions. To answer all of this I had to ask something (answering questions with a question… oh the joys of life). Where do I start to answer these? I never really experienced the true gravity and weight of these questions before exchange. Life is real and beautiful so what am I going to do with myself and it? I can start answering these questions now.

Exchange has opened my eyes. Like holy cow I feel like I was blind before this. Suddenly I am gaining my vision again. I still can’t see everything but things are clearer. I may never be able to see clearly and answer these questions until I am an old woman. Some of these I will know and discover within the next one to two years. Others I will answer then change later in life. Those questions now seem a little less daunting. Some I look forward to figuring out. For now most of these questions will wait. I will share my current answer for one of them with you.

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