Moving On From a Major Disappointment

A few months ago, I wrote about my travelling plans for the year. I was planning on spending a semester in Limerick, Ireland. I’m now very sorry to say those plans have officially been cancelled. I’m stuck at my home school for yet another semester. 

When I first realized I would have to cancel my trip, I was devastated. Ever since two of my older siblings traveled abroad, it had been my dream to study abroad. I was going to be in Ireland on Saint Patrick's Day. I was going to turn 21 in the drinking country of the world. I would be surrounded by culture and be immersed with people who were from a completely different culture. 

But… it would’ve come with a cost. The program has students pick their classes when they arrive in Ireland, not beforehand. I’m a double major and have a very specific set of classes I need to take in order to graduate. If I didn’t get at least one class I needed when I got there, I could at least make up for it with a summer course. If I didn’t get two or three, I’d be forced to make them up in another semester. I wouldn’t graduate on time. 

I’ve always been one to (mostly) keep my priorities in check. I’ve been ready to graduate and get my life started for a long time. The last thing I wanted was to have to stay an extra semester at my college. It also would’ve been embarrassing for me to have to go for another semester. I’d feel like a failure to my family and myself. 

I quickly realized that I was making the right decision though. As much as it hurt, I knew I wanted to graduate on time. I also know that Ireland isn’t going anywhere anytime soon (unless some freak meteor appears and obliterates the Emerald Isle). There will be opportunities to travel throughout my life. They may not be as long or inclusive as studying abroad, but I can still see the best parts and be immersed in the culture. And I’m seeing Niall Horan in May, who is probably the most famous Irish singer of all time. It’s the closest I’ll get to Ireland for now. 

The thing I had to most remember is how good it would feel to walk across the stage at graduation with the rest of my peers. While I was sad to be giving up the trip I’d been planning for nearly a year, I had to keep my eyes on what was most important. Many of my friends would have gone without worrying about the consequences. But in life, we often have to make hard decisions we don’t necessarily like. As long as we know deep down it was the right choice, we can move past it and finish the important parts of life. Only then can we enjoy the better parts of life. I encourage anyone who is facing a difficult choice to do what you know deep down is right. You might feel bad about it in the moment, but the better times will come later on.