CHILE 2014

Everything is finally coming together for my study abroad trip next spring, and I’m kind of freaking out. This is something I’ve been looking forward to since the first week of school freshman year, when I scheduled a meeting with our study abroad rep to make sure I would have time to apply for a good program. She informed me then that I was about a year early and that everything would work out as long as I stayed patient.

And it’s finally happening! My passport came in the mail last week, I have my application almost completely done, and I’m basically packed and ready. Except that I’m not ready. Like at all. I don’t understand how I can be 100% prepared and 100% terrifyingly unprepared at the same time. In order to kind of calm my nerves I decided to make a pro/con list, in the hopes that I can focus on solving the cons, or ignoring them at least.

PROS:

Independence: This is my chance to finally be completely on my own and I am fully ready to welcome the new experience. I have a tendency to let other people help me as much as possible, which my family can fully attest to (I’ve done like 5 loads of laundry in my life), but this is finally a chance to prove I can survive on my own.

Chance of a lifetime: When am I ever going to get a chance to go to a different country and study for 5 months? I mean, hopefully I will be traveling a lot in whatever job I end up at in the future (that’s why I chose International Business in the first place), but this is like a concrete way for me to get out and see the world.

New World: Like picture Aladdin and Jasmine on their flying carpet singing right now, that’s how I feel this is gonna be like. We just talked about culture shock in my pre-study abroad course, so I know it’s not gonna be all beautiful views and pretty people (but like they have those…)
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Growth: Not just personally (like new independence, confidence, self awareness), but also linguistically (maybe I’ll finally learn español, que bueno!). Plus, be able to expand my business (& social) networks, along with broadening my cultural awareness.
CONS:
Relays: Enough said? I have to miss so much by leaving in the spring. Relays is such a let down, because I’ve only gotten to experience one Drake Relays as a college student and I’m gonna miss it this year. Besides that, I’m also missing my fave Lincoln seniors’ graduation & soccer season. They were pretty upset when I told them I wouldn’t be at their senior night. I’m also missing my sister’s graduation (I think?? Idk how pharmacy works exactly) and some of my fave DRAKE seniors’ graduation. Like all of that together is a little overwhelming.
Work: I’ve been working so hard at Target trying to move up, and had been betting on getting an internship next summer with them. I was super bummed to find out, however, that since I won’t be home till July, I can’t participate in their internship program. Which is a huge let down.
Homesickness: While independence is gonna be cool, I have LOVED having my family so close to me, in case of emergency or I need a hug or something. It will be so weird to not be able to call my sister to get coffee or see my nephew whenever I feel like it or eat ice cream and watch movies with my parents. I feel like I will have a whole new appreciation for them when I arrive back home, however.
So like I clearly can’t solve those cons, but I’ll work on trying to ignore them. While there are pros and cons to every major decision, this is one decision where it’s pretty clear that the pros outweigh the cons. Like the cons are gonna SUCK, but it will be so worth it for me. I.CAN’T.WAIT.
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