Thoughts before Leaving….

There seems to be a general consensus amongst everyone I know that I am about to embark on a thrilling year.

“Oh my God. You are going to Jordan and London? You must be so excited.” “You are going to have so much fun!”

“Wow, your junior year is going to be amazing.”
“Man, studying is going to be hard for you next year.”

Of course, I cannot disagree with them. I am spending a year overseas, half in the Middle East and half in Europe. I have no plans to return to the United States for the entire year. At every opportunity, I will travel to different countries in both regions. After visiting Jordan, my friend and I plan on visiting Istanbul for winter break.  Luckily, King’s College gives students an entire month vacation for Easter, which I will abuse to the fullest extent.

Add these incredible trips to the great education I will receive from Jordan University and King’s College, and I know I will have a wonderful junior year.

When will I ever be offered another chance to travel so widely, to sample so many different types of cuisines, to meet so many people of different nationalities, and to see so many famous sights?

I have every reason to be excited for next year.

However, I did not expect the jumble of emotions that constantly swirl inside me whenever I contemplate my upcoming trip.  

I have equal parts of excitement and fearfulness, apprehension, elation and nervousness.

Will I fit in at school?
What if my classes are too difficult?
How am I supposed to live out of two suitcases?
Will my classes really transfer over to Georgetown?
Did I make the right decision to leave for an entire year?
I will not see my family for an entire year. Will I become extremely homesick? And even this incredibly trivial question: where in the world am I going to get my hair done in Jordan?
Will I be able to take full advantage of the opportunities given to me?

Every time I tell people of my fears, they seem to gloss over my concerns. Most say something like, “Don’t worry about it, you’re going to amazing cities and you’ll have so much fun.”

I started to wonder, am I the only one who is slightly terrified? Does no one else have a number of reservations about studying abroad or does their excitement outweigh their concerns?

Fortunately, I discovered the best people to talk with were exchange students currently studying at Georgetown. I finally found other people who said they experienced similar emotions before they traveled abroad. There was even one girl who said she was completely miserable for the first couple of weeks, but after an adjustment period fell in love with Georgetown.

I am still incredibly nervous for next year. However, knowing there are others who had the same fears about studying abroad, but still managed to have a great study abroad experience, assure me that despite my worries and apprehensions, my next year will be amazing.

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