I Am Terrified to Study Abroad… and That’s Okay
This summer will be the first time I travel outside the United States. I was lucky enough to be chosen to spend 16 days in Switzerland learning about their culture, food, and agriculture. We will be hiking the Swiss Alps, going to the first seeing eye dog academy, touring a dairy operation, among many other things. While I am excited to see this beautiful country, I am also absolutely scared. And here’s why:
What if I don’t pack the right things? On this trip, we are only allowed one small carry-on suitcase and a backpack, which leaves little room for packing mistakes. What if I don’t bring enough pants? What if I don’t bring the right pants? What if all I bring is pants and it happens to actually be shorts weather, causing me to overheat and collapse in the middle of the road, where I get hit by a car? There are so many ways this could go wrong. And don’t even get me started on the shirts!
What if I get lost / Separated from the group? While Switzerland isn’t the biggest country out there, there is still plenty of space to get lost in. Those mountains look pretty huge. What if I am still standing on the platform as I turn and watch everyone ride away from me on the train? Or even worse, what if I’m still on the train when everyone else got off? I definitely need to learn how to read a train map before leaving.
What if I lose my passport? I don’t know about you, but I kind of enjoy being an American citizen and I really don’t want to have to spend forever in customs trying to prove I am one. Honestly, I am not known as an organized person. I lose everything. I once left a whole suitcase at a hotel. What if I leave my passport on the plane, the train, the bathroom, or the chocolate factory? There are literally thousands of places I could misplace that important little book, and I just pray I have sense enough to keep it with me.
While I know that there is a lot of things that can go wrong, I just have to keep looking towards everything that will go right. This is my chance to go way outside my comfort zone and learn things I would never have the chance to otherwise. This is a gorgeous country, unlike anything here in the U.S. So, the only important “what if” is: What if I go and absolutely have the time of my life?