I remember how excited I was to transfer to the main campus and finally complete my studies. While all of that positive emotions were coursing through my veins, I did not realize how terrifying it is to live away from your country. I come from The Republic of Panama. While Florida has its fair share of Hispanics, traditional food, and parties, it's just not the same.

Lately, I have been missing home. I've been missing the food, I've taken upon myself to cook 'traditional' breakfast that you'd only eat when you drive to the beach (a.k.a, hojaldra, empanadas, carimanola, bollo, etc.) and talk to anybody in Spanish and dance to Hispanic music to feel at home. While my heart is yearning for home, my soul reminisces to how much I have matured.

For this past year, I have learned that having the opportunity of moving to another country helps someone grow and be more independent. I have looked back and realized how much I have matured, and even though I've gone out of my comfort zone and tried going out and clubbing, I have looked back to see my personal growth. Academically, I've had to push myself to do better, as not having a parent around made it easier to breathe but harder to remember that you have school work. Not having my parents around to remind me that I have a test for the next day, made me learn about time management. I'm not going to lie; I'm still trying to get the hang of it. I've learned how to manage myself financially (you know, make the actual bucket list that you've seen your parents do several times) and find the balance between social life and professional life.

On that note, I learned from this past year is to stop being terrified of expanding myself professionally. As an aspiring writer and film producer, I need to go out there, and I've done that. That's the beauty of already being out there. To anyone out there that is afraid of moving out of their country or away from their families, take the opportunity because it will help you grow as a person (just remember to be safe and keep your documents with you).