Day Negative 21
Hello blog reading friends! Aka probably only mom and dad… Welcome to my study abroad blog. My study a-blog. (Warning: if you’re not into word combinations and/or puns, quit out of the browser and save yourself now.)
In 21 days, 6 hours, 1 minutes, and 55 seconds, I will be stepping foot on a red-eye flight that will take me to a three month adventure in the United Kingdom. The closest I’ve come to being across the pond is the pond across my street that has green mush orbiting its perimeter. It smells faintly of rotting parmesan.
Shoutout to my writing professor who hates disclaimers. I know you’re shaking your head right now. The same professor also told me to imagine him standing over my shoulders as I write this blog. *Sigh* Hello, Jay.
Anyway – I’m going to try really hard to keep up with this blog and write a weekly update while I’m in England. However, I’ve gotten quite a few warnings against blogging while abroad. My friend went to London this summer, and she said out of the 30 people on her trip, all 30 went in with a blog, and a whopping zero kept up with it. The odds are not looking good. My goal is to take these stories of failure and channel them as ambition to excel. I’ll let you know how that goes… I’m going to try really hard, but I’m only human. A human who is sometimes distracted and loves procrastinating. I’ll do my best. Also, this is a personal blog. I’m writing this blog for me, with the intent of sharing my stories with others. My writing will be honest, and that might include the not-so-glamorous part of traveling too. The point: if you’re reading this, throw all expectations away.
WHY GO ABROAD?
I literally have no idea what I’m getting myself into. Here’s a visual.
So, of course I am incredibly thrilled to be going on this great adventure, but I’m also terrified. I’m going to a place I’ve never been, with people I’ve never met, and expected to not only survive, but thrive for three months. Why am I doing this to myself?
I’ve always romanticized with the idea of being a risk taker. It’s a quality I strive to possess, but don’t get that much opportunity to execute. The “risks” I’ve taken include things like skipping my 9am to complete a project for another class, or using a font other than Times New Roman on an essay (gasp). I’ve lived a very comfortable life. A life that is filled with amazing people and resources and privilege. But I want to know: who am I without the training wheels? I often wonder if who I am is a reflection of the role I feel like I am supposed to play. I am constantly considering what other people think of me, and I fear that sometimes that inhibits my true self from coming to fruition. Take away the people that love me, the school I know, the life I have lived for twenty-one years, and what happens? Who do I become?
I’m determined to find out. *Cue dramatic music*
TRYING TO ADULT
I just want to also point out how unnecessarily grueling the process of getting a Visa is. It took me nine hours. Nine. I only cried like six times though, which is a win, right? Shoutouts to:
- My dad. He spent his birthday on the phone with me trying to figure out forms and reading the 40 page manual to make sure I was doing everything right.
- April. The woman at the JMU Student Success Center who was able to print my transcript in 30 minutes when it was supposed to take 5 business days. I’m sorry I cried on the phone with you. Twice.
- The UPS Guy. I’m sorry I never got your name – but thank you for printing out my labels even though return labels aren’t supposed to be printed.
I’ve spared you from setting your eyes on my passport picture. It’s for your own sake. If you’re ever feeling bad about any photograph you’ve ever taken, please take my word for it – this one is worse.
So with that, I hereby welcome you to my study a-blog. I hope to take thousands of pictures, learn a lot and come out with a little more wisdom on the other side. Or, just to provide entertainment by digitally documenting my awkward life in Europe.
Cheers (am I British yet?),