August 30th, 2018
I’m in the midst of packing, my closet looks like it threw up all over my bedroom floor, and I’m struggling to pack for basically three seasons and fit it all into one suitcase that’s under 50 pounds.
Packing struggles aside, I’m finding it difficult to grasp that I’m just moving to Europe in 48 hours. Anxiety is mixed with excitement as the unexpected gets closer and closer. I’ve read so much about French culture and how living in Paris is all about the personal relationships you make, and that’s daunting for me. I don’t even speak the language, making personal relationships with store clerk seems impossible. Good thing we’re taking intensive French, right? Every time I mention that I’m feeling anxious or nervous everyone gives me the same answer, “oh you’re going to have sooo much fun though.” The more I hear that the less I believe it, it’s just turning into a stock response. It’s the anticipation that is the hardest for me, knowing that this period of the uncomfortable and unknown is quickly approaching and I don’t know if I’m going to “have sooo much fun.” It’s a big change for me and a big step out of my comfort zone. As a going away present, I got a Silver Linings Journal, which always encourages me to look on the bright side. So here is my silver lining: I’m going to Paris, somewhere I’ve wanted to go since I was little. Every part of me is going to want to like it, and in that situation I probably will find a way to enjoy it. One of my best friends is also going on the NU in Paris program, so even though I’ll be thousands of miles away from home, not everything will be unfamiliar, and I know I have someone that’s there for me. Like I said, the anticipation is the worst part, and if you’re reading this and struggling in the same way, let me just say this, if you’re not nervous, if you you’re not about to step completely out of your comfort zone, it wouldn’t be study abroad. Students choose to step out of their comfort zone and live in a brand new culture because they want to grow and learn things about themselves in uncomfortable situations, and that’s exactly what this is all about.