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Tessa Pesicka / Her Campus

Leaving My Comfortable Summer

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

All summer long, I felt the growing pains of static comfortability: staying in my childhood home where old habits and anxieties reappeared and where everything felt just too familiar. I saw the same friends I grew up with, ate at my same sushi restaurants and coffee shops, and noticed I was becoming a bit like my high-school-self. Don’t get me wrong — it was a breath of fresh air to be around my family all summer and bask in a city I love. But I longed to flourish, explore, and leave the walls in which I grew up, which is why my exchange was the perfect thing for me to fixate on.

I spent my days at my corporate internship daydreaming of lying in the sun of Sydney, Australia and living my best exchange life; I could not be travelling farther away from the aches I left behind in my childhood bedroom. Yet, hours before my flight was due to take off, I laid, cradling my dog in my backyard hammock, practically shaking with nerves to venture into the unknown: I was moving across the world without connections to a single person.

When it came down to packing up and saying goodbye, I felt an intense longing for the comfortable things, people, and places that made up my summer — the same things I had been eager to avoid for weeks. What was comfortable was having a peaceful nighttime routine where I could tune out the world and watch my favourite sitcoms until my eyelids fell heavy. What was comfortable was romanticizing past loves yet flirting with the same boys across the road. What was comfortable was knowing I had the option each night to go to the beach with friends or giggle at a Will Ferrell movie with my parents.

I am writing this in a library on the other side of the world, and I cannot help but notice this balance between the comfortable and uncomfortable — the same balance that paralyzed me with fear hours before leaving. What’s comfortable here is my usual study playlist (a curated blend of Glee hits and acoustic folk, of course) and how much this study pod I am sitting at reminds me of the Queen’s Stauffer Library. What’s uncomfortable is that I am 17 hours away from my family and friends at home. But, without this balance, I would have never spent the past week exploring a new city with new friends and finding pockets where I could see myself thriving. As I embark on exchange completely on my own, I know that I will continue to rely on this balance between the comfortable and uncomfortable, but if it has brought me here so far, I can only imagine where I will be in 4 months.  

Alisa Bressler

Queen's U '24

Alisa Bressler is a third-year business student at Queen's University, currently studying in Sydney, Australia. She loves Broadway, ice cream, and Legally Blonde!