I am so incredibly nervous.
I left DC almost a month ago now to fly home to Dubai, where my parents live. I’ve lived abroad most of my life, growing up in Turkey and moving around the Middle East until I came to Georgetown. I’m definitely no stranger to travelling, and the experiences of starting at a new school in a completely new place, meeting new people, and making new friends has become quite familiar. Just because I’m used to it, though, doesn’t make it easy.
Every time I move, I get the same feelings of fear and anxiety. I question myself endlessly: What if I hate this new place? What if I’m lonely? What happens if I can’t fit in? I get upset about leaving my friends, my house, my comfort zone. Moving is always uncomfortable and, even more so, always scary.
The thing I always seem to forget is that it’s always worth it. When I moved to Turkey I was eight and terrified, and I left with some of the best memories I have, along with a new language and a lot more knowledge about the world. When I came to Georgetown from Abu Dhabi I was so afraid of leaving, but now I have the best friends I’ve ever had and think of school as my home. Now, as I try to cram all of my possessions into two suitcases and attempt to brush up on my French before flying to Paris in four days, I am so scared of this new and intimidating adventure, yet I know that I will leave having had incredible and life-changing experiences.
Before I left, my best friend back at Georgetown gave me a travel journal as a Christmas present. It is red and gold, with thick yellow pages and a map of the world on the cover. She told me to write down everything while I’m abroad, not just the great bread and cheese, the stunning museums and old churches and views from the Eiffel Tower, but also the times when I am scared, sad, and lonely. She told me to write it all down, because studying abroad is an experience you only get once in a lifetime, and you want to remember every moment of it.
So this is my first blog post (or journal entry, if you will), and I am scared. But I am also so excited to see what Paris holds for me, and to start making the memories that I won’t want to forget.