Saturday, June 1, 2013

T-Minus 18 Days

It seems like just yesterday my trip was barely an idea. It's kind of funny how it all began now that I think about it. I always wanted to experience the world, but never really intended to during college. I expected to be another broke college student living off of Ramen noodles in a stuffy room. Luckily, I haven't undergone such hardships. Work hard in high school kids because scholarships are a saving grace. Now, back to how I decided to study abroad:

The first event occurred when I had to attend a study abroad fair for a pre-med informational class I was taking. I needed credit and absolutely dreaded going to this thing. The instructors said to stay for an hour, but I knew it wasn't supervised and who am I kidding? No one ever stays for the required time anyway. So, I intended to power walk through the tables and dip out the first chance I got. Of course, things didn't quite turn out the way I planned.

I had just gotten out of class, and it was sweltering outside, where the fair was, of course. I sighed and headed down the aisle of decorated tables; I could hardly see where they ended. Since I had to write about my "experience", I was forced to talk to some of the representatives. However, something magical happened. I met the love of my life. Ha! Just kidding, but I did find something I love. These sharks had reeled me in, and I actually considered studying abroad. I believe I spent an entire hour there, maybe even more so, learning about another student's adventures in Italy, opportunities at Cambridge, a semester in Australia. The possibilities were endless. I returned to my dorm with a handful of pamphlets and a small gear turning in my mind.

The second event that led me to studying abroad was a project for my anthropology class during my first semester - one of those horrendous ten-page papers where you have to interview strangers about a lame topic. It was one of those projects that is especially painful for people like myself who feel like their disrupting people's days for a few stupid questions for some class they hate. After battling my introversion and contacting a few people, I unintentionally found myself in the Study Abroad Office. I set up an interview with someone in the workplace and begrudgingly headed up to it a few days later. Nonetheless, I had a wonderful time hearing about this young woman's experience in so many countries. I could just sit and listen for days if I could. Again, this was not what I was expecting, and when I admitted I was considering it, she encouraged me wholeheartedly to go for it.

I let the idea tinker around some more, weighed the costs, and narrowed my options down to two programs - Italy and Ireland. I asked friends, stared at the pamphlets relentlessly, and finally realized why Italia was the best option (considering the cost was nearly the same for each). Food. What is that boot notorious for? Only my favorite thing! Also, it's very tourist friendly, and that's kind of important for someone who's never left the motherland. Sad, I know, but I think I made the right choice.

How did London and Paris get thrown in there? Fun. If I'm going out of the country, I might as well make it count. The flights were also the cheapest to book. However, they're turning out to be... I wouldn't say a poor decision, but are taking unnecessarily arduous planning. Things will pull together, I'm sure. Prayers would be much appreciated. And money. Mostly prayers, though, since I don't expect cash to flow my way anytime soon. Darn Past Me did not budget right! I swear I have a lifetime pass on the Strugglebus.

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