After middle school, my parents and I decided that it would be a good idea for me to go to a summer camp alone. We lived in Turkey at that time so our opinion of a good summer camp for me was a program that would improve my English and include fun activities. After a long search of different options, we found the type of program we were looking for in Malta. I was going to take English classes in the morning, go to different cultural locations during the afternoon and join various fun activities in the evening for two and a half weeks.   

     When I was packing, the sweet thought of independence hit me. I was going to travel alone and stay alone for some time! My parents were saying it wasn’t going to be as easy as it sounds but I knew they were wrong, why would it be hard? Right?

     I waved to my parents through glass doors for the last time and got on the plane. After a couple of hours the plane finally landed. I picked up my luggage and found my summer camp program stand. It was a big orange stand with EC written on it. That was the first time my heart started beating faster and my hands started sweating. I couldn’t understand if I was more excited or nervous but either way, I was ready to start my summer. They arranged the cab that was going to take me to the hotel I was going to stay in and came outside with me to clearly explain what my schedule was going to be for the day. The cab took me to Primera Hotel in Bugibba. I got out of the car and stood there for a second. The light breeze was carrying the smell of the ocean and reminding me that the summer was here. However when I got into my room, all my thoughts came tumbling down. This trip wasn’t going to be easy at all. I haven’t seen a mess like this in my whole life and I thought I was messy! The beds had bundles of hair on them, there was underwear hanging from the bathroom door, the chair was full of dirty clothes, the desk had open coke cans that looked like they were two weeks old, the sink had some kind of dye dripping from the side and a toothbrush on top of it, and there were cigarette ends in water bottle tops.  I couldn’t think of anything to do besides calling my mom. I called her with great panic explaining the situation. Of course, she couldn’t do anything from that far away and the only thing the phone call did for me was to lose most of my minutes for the international call.  After we hung up, I understood that no one could help me but myself. I went down to the reception to request a room change but they said every room is full so I decided to find the personnel who cleaned the rooms. I asked her if she could help me out and she told me that she would gladly help because for the last week the girls in my room put the “do not disturb” sign everyday so she couldn’t get into the room.  Having at least the bed cleaned, I rested until my roommates came. After talking with them about how I felt about the room, we started cleaning it together and the whole problem was solved.

     From the first day, Malta taught me how to stand on my own two feet. It wasn’t just cleaning a mess, it was managing my time and money, learning to organize my belongings and learning to communicate with people all around the world that I comprehended into my life.  I understood that independence is not only about being away from parents but rather it is to face my own problems.

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