My exchange year at BHSU so far, romanticized.

In 2022, specifically when I got my exchange year scholarship acceptance letter, I told myself I am going to have a 365-days break from anxiety and pressure stemming from my engineering studies back in Tunisia. I came here prepared to have my “Sisterhood in the Traveling Pants” and “Under the Tuscan Sun” moments, except that I’ll be in Spearfish, SD. 


"And as much as I keep cringing at the use of the sentence “romanticize your life”, but that is all I have been doing. "

With that being said -In the most sarcastic tone you can imagine- I face the reality of being halfway through my exchange year journey since the second semester started; I caught myself doting on each day I spend on campus. And as much as I keep cringing at the use of the sentence “romanticize your life”, but that is all I have been doing. 
A plethora of my favorite moments in BHSU come to my mind when I think of romanticizing my life. For instance, living in a dorm that has huge windows taking up half the wall helps me romanticize my mornings and all the glorious Black Hills sunsets. And as much as it is painful to leave my room every day at 7 am for the gym, it is thrilling -and super cold if you’re only used to Mediterranean weather- especially if there is snow.  Snow looks very majestic here, and I have hundreds of pictures and videos to document it. 
I cannot mention BHSU without bringing up my friends. Christopher McCandless – the American adventurer- was right: happiness is only real when shared. How can you genuinely enjoy a new culture without having the right company? We always catch ourselves laughing and changing subjects as fast as we first started them, asking each other what classes we have, complaining about how exhausted we feel, and if we meet at dinner, we would ask how each of our days went. Our conversations are always filled with too many oohs and ah’s, and laughs that fill the room.  
Romanticizing classes in BHSU is not that hard either, since the luxury of choosing my own courses was nothing but familiar. Naturally, I reveled in that, and I went ahead and chose literary electives. Now that does not sound appealing, but going to class and practicing my writing skills was extremely rewarding for me, for my inner child and for dreams that I thought I gave up on pursuing. I am in awe of the BHSU’s chapter of my life, with all its adversities. At least I am doing what I want, what I always wanted. 
I documented it all: my walks with friends down main street, our endless trips to clothing stores, the late movie nights, the hikes in the grandiose Black Hills mountains, the long conversations about anything and everything, the support, validation, and affection. All are easy to miss when I do not step back for a moment and see all of this; Hence, the social media term “Romanticizing” comes in handy!