Thoughts and Feelings: Pre-departure versus Now

Now that the first of the two sessions I am spending in Spain is coming to an end, I can think of a number of things I wish I could tell the pre-departure version of myself.  Before departing, I had a wide range of feelings surrounding this experience.  I am a huge worrier so, naturally, I was nervous about quite a few things.

First, I am terrified of flying and knowing I was going to have to be on a plane for 7+ hours did not help calm my anxiety about studying abroad.  With that being said, the first thing I would tell myself is: “You are going to make it to Madrid in one piece.  Also, there are great movies on international flights.”

I also feared that I would not make any friends.  I did not know anyone that would be here other than a few people I had taken class with.  I am shy and soft-spoken, which seemed like a bad combination going into this situation.  I feared I would be in this incredible place with no one to share these incredible experiences with.  The second thing I wish I knew then:  I would meet some of my best friends and make some of my most special memories here.

Finally, I was scared that I would miss home too much.  As an out of state student, I do not get to go home as often as I would like.  Summers are my time to be home and spend time with my family and friends who I do not get to see as much as I used to.  I kept thinking about how long I was going to be gone for and began doubting my decision to stay for two sessions.  If I had known then what I know now, I would know that I cannot imagine having to go home this Friday and that the time flies.

If you are considering studying abroad, but feel anxious or nervous about the prospect of it, do not worry.   Studying abroad will exceed your expectations.  You will visit the most beautiful places, meet amazing people, and, when you look back on your pre-departure apprehensions, you will realize you had nothing to worry about.

Author: Caroline B

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