"Only __ Days Left" by Jaycee Miller
Several weeks prior to departing from the United States, I downloaded an app on my phone called 1 Second Everyday (this is, frankly, not a sponsored post). It’s designed to encourage you to record a second of your life every day, and it even sends you daily reminders with somewhat cliché inspirational quotes. I wanted to create something to document my life here. I figured it might turn out like a-day-in-the-life of an American student living in Morocco. But it didn’t. The days I forgot to record or ignored the notifications from 1SE, I was either too busy or nothing throughout the day felt important enough to feature. The days I did record were always when something particularly interesting was happening. The footage I have is therefore mostly a collection of my most exciting moments. While I’ve loved looking back on what I have so far, it is, unfortunately, not an accurate way of understanding the daily life of a student in my program. You will never see the goofiest moments from my days here. You will never see a second in which I’m struggling to communicate to my cab driver in Arabic. You will never see a second in which I’m bunkered down in the library grinding through my recherche. Perhaps that would be too personal anyway, or wouldn’t make for a very interesting 120 seconds, but it would be honest.
I’ve been here for a little over thirteen weeks, or 87 days, and as the three-month mark approaches, I’m reflecting on my understanding of time. Everyone told me it would fly by, and of course I believed them, but in practice it felt so much different. I look back and I see how much has changed in my life since arriving, and I think about all of the places I’ve traveled and how much I’ve learned. I think about all of the friends I’ve made and how many meals I’ve eaten with my family. All of this feels like a lifetime that happened too fast. When I re-watch the little-over-a-minute of footage I have on 1SE (maybe too often) I have to remind myself that thinking too much about how fast it all feels won’t slow anything down.
I’m having a hard time swallowing the fact that my flight out of Morocco takes off in 31 days as of writing this. For the last quarter of the duration of my time in Morocco, I’m going to try to think less about how fast it has gone by or how much time I have left because I’m already missing things I haven’t said goodbye to—that’s simply not a very practical way of making the best of what’s left. I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to think about it less, and instead fill that time with moments of reflection and gratitude. In the meantime, I’d like to share with you my highlight reel. My compilation doesn’t fully reflect a-day-in-the-life of an American abroad with AMIDEAST due to the selective nature of my seconds and among the group of students, no two experiences are completely alike. It is worth noting that because there are days I missed, the video is not a full 87 seconds long. I also spent fall break in Spain and Malta, and therefore you will see some scenery which doesn’t quite resemble the Maghreb.