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  • Writer's pictureWKU Alpha Delta Pi

Entering 2021 "Pura Vida"

“I believe that the privilege of membership in Alpha Delta Pi brings the responsibility to do my best in whatever I undertake”

Never in a million years did I expect to undertake an undergraduate thesis, but here I am, spending winter break in San Ramón, Costa Rica collecting data on mental health. This trip looks a lot different than the last. When I came to Costa Rica for the first time almost 2 years ago, I was alone and clueless. I did not know the family I would be living with for the next 4 months, and there was no one in my program from anywhere remotely close to Kentucky. I came expecting adventure, growth, and friendships, and I got just that. This time around, I knew exactly what I was coming into. I am staying with my host family from my first trip (well, once they get out of quarantine), and I know my way around this quaint little city. Getting on the plane this time came with a lot more excitement and a lot less fear.

Tico culture moves a whole lot slower than the US. Costa Rica’s famous slogan “pura vida” (pure life) is truly exemplified by the way the people live. Mornings are always slow, sipping coffee and admiring the beauty of nature that lives right outside the window. Nothing is rushed, and if it doesn’t get done, oh well, pura vida. Afternoons almost always include “cafecito” when everyone in the house gathers around the table for coffee and a snack. Daily life here looks eerily similar to the life we look forward to for one or two weeks a year on vacation.

As I enter into the new year here, thousands of miles away from home, I can’t help but reflect on how I want to live in 2021. 2020 was tough on everyone for countless reasons, and we have no way of knowing what 2021 will hold. But as I sit here, sipping my coffee and staring at the mountains, I can say that I want to savor it. 2021, for me, will hold a lot of lasts and firsts. My last semester of college, graduation, moving to my dream city, officially beginning the journey to my future career. It is going to be a big year, but if my short time in this sweet country has taught me anything, it’s to savor every moment: be it joyful or painful.

In 2021, I hope to live more “pura vida”, to savor the little moments, the last and the firsts with the people closest to me (as long as they stay 6 feet away).


Gabbi Sledge

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