Thoughts You Have Before Going Abroad

Hey there, it’s your ex HC co-correspondent. Why ex? Don’t worry, I’ll be back. BUT, this semester is going to be a little different. I’ll be spending this semester Down Under, in the beautiful city of Melbourne, Australia. Yes, this is an amazing opportunity, and yes, I’m sure that I’m going to have a wonderful time. BUT, would I really be going halfway across the world if I wasn’t getting cold feet two weeks before my fifteen-hour plane ride? Especially since I’ve never left the country before? Once I have my feet firmly on Australian soil, I’ll have many, many updates for y’all, but in the meantime, these are my thoughts BEFORE leaving everything I’ve ever known (add some expletives at will for improved accuracy).

Where is that email?? When was that deadline?? I can’t find my paperwork!!!!

I started this fun, paper-filled adventure halfway through my sophomore year. Here we are in February of my junior year, and I’m wishing my organizational skills were actually sufficient. Any sort of common folder for all of my study abroad related emails would have been a lifesaver. Deadlines marked in big, bold letters would have relieved a lot of stress. However, hindsight is 20/20, and, instead, the search function in my inbox is really what got me through this last year. My advice to future travellers? Don’t be an idiot like me, and keep all of your relevant information in one place. It will save you many sleepless nights.

What actually is customs?

I have a vision in my head of the Phoenix airport security, but on steroids. Of some dimly lit, warehouse-style room with hundreds of merciless people as I stand there with my luggage, mouth agape and utterly lost. In reality, I know I’m being dramatic and everything will actually be fine, but with so many rules and regulations, it’s hard to feel confident.

HOW am I supposed to fit everything I need into ONE suitcase?

And it’s not just one suitcase; it’s one suitcase with a 50-pound weight limit. And two carry-ons, each with their own 15-pound weight limit. I have NEVER had a weight restriction on my carry-ons. I’m spending five months in a city that experiences four seasons in one day, and I am supposed to make it with a total of 80 pounds of belongings? I’ll believe it when I see it.

It’s official: my friends’ lives are going on without me

I didn’t think it was possible for them to live without my glowing presence for any longer than two weeks, but somehow we’re going to have to suck it up until we’re all back on the same continent. I’ll miss some 21st birthdays, some spring formals, graduation, and the day to day interactions that make me love my beautiful people. To all of you: I love you all, and I’ll be back before you know it! Don’t have too much fun without me, though; it’s bad for my F.O.M.O.

Let’s ask the real questions here: can I still FaceTime my mom?

This is a big one. I call my mom when I can’t figure out what to wear, when I need a cheerleader for the massive pile of homework sitting in front of me, when I’m bored, and just for fun. If I’m supposed to live five months as an actual adult, then I’m not going. The eighteen-hour time difference will lead to some complications, but good news: your girl has free messaging and data (and can call on Wi-Fi)!! So sorry, momma, I’m still going to bother you—but now at four a.m.

Is this really going to all be worth it?

OF COURSE it is!! I am so excited, and everything is going to be better than expected. But that doesn’t mean I can’t drag my feet a little longer. So, this is an open apology to all the friends and family that have developed anxiety as a result of my lack of organizational capabilities, but just know I wouldn’t be doing this without all of your help! I am thankful, grateful and beyond ecstatic for this next semester. The next time you hear from me, I’ll be living it up Down Under. Cheers!