Study abroad jitters?

With classes wrapping up and warmer weather upon us, it’s without doubt that many of you are preparing to study or travel abroad for what may be your first time. Feeling nervous? Good. I would be concerned if you weren’t. Taking this major step in your life is overwhelming and causes anxiousness for good reason. However, keeping an open mind, an organized list, and realistic expectations will make your transition that much easier. Whether you’ll be gone for a month or a year, take to heart the advice I gave three years ago before I made “the big move.”

It’s a funny thing, preparing to leave friends and family for a year. I’ve been away before, but never for this long. I don’t exactly know how to feel sad at the moment because I’m so excited to live in Busan with a new job and a place to call my own. Saying goodbye is hard but in all reality, I’ll be back before you know it. Before I know it. And although I’m sad, I’m so incredibly excited and ready to begin the adventure.

I was thinking about it. When I went back to Florence in 2010, I went to all my favorite spots I discovered in 2009. I went to the Dublin Pub and talked to Sergio, our favorite bartender, who told us that my good friend Massimo had moved back to Rome shortly after we left. I went back to Sacchi, a small bar that still had the same exact deal to offer, five shots for five euro. I went back to Eby’s and he whipped us up a batch of the infamous “Laura and Heather shots” while, coincidentally, wearing the same plaid shirt. Everything and everyone was the same. Life had gone on just as I had left it. People went about their day oblivious to whether or not I was there. And although I missed Florence and the inhabitants dearly, life went on.

That’s how I feel about the situation I’m in now. Yes, a year is a long time. Yes, I’m going to miss everyone from home. But yes, life is going to go on and we’re going to learn and experience so much in this short time away from each other. Don’t be sad I’m leaving, be happy we’re going to embark on life’s journey together, whether we’re walking right next to each other or skyping from half way around the world.

Friday, August 27, 2010
Before I Go

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