I am absolutely thrilled to be going to live in France for the next 6 months. Words alone cannot describe my excitement! The time is coming so quickly, it is unreal. Since it is my very first time in Europe, I was thinking I would be feeling a little uneasy during my last days in Florida.
I remember when I finally found a girl to take over the lease of my room in the apartment complex I live in Gainesville. I was feeling rather concerned. “Now there is no coming back”, I thought, since she had already signed all the paperwork. I wondered if I was taking the right decision, leaving everything in Gainesville behind for a while. What would my friends be doing without me? What kind of memories would I be missing out by leaving for an entire semester? What if I feel lonely or lost in France?
Those feelings are far from how I actually feel right now.
I feel so ready and most importantly, I feel capable of doing this. At the end of the day, I came to Gainesville on my own, without knowing anybody and had to start my life similarly to what it will be like in France. Even though I was only 4 hours away from my family, I was still all by myself, only coming home during school break.
As cliché as it is, life is too short. College years pass so fast. I am already a senior and studying abroad was always part of my plans. Changing my mind was out of the question. I always thought that being courageous is not necessarily the absence of fear, but rather the ability of feeling afraid but still move forward with your initial plans.
The important part is bearing in mind that most students feel anxious in the beginning. It is only natural. However, the experiences, the memories, the personal growth that students gain from studying abroad certainly are worth it. I also knew that now is the easiest time to do an exchange program. After college, we all get real jobs and eventually start getting married and having kids…
And If not now, when?