On September 24th, I will embark on what is surely to be the greatest adventure I have ever had. I will spending my junior year at the London School of Economics (and Political Science!). This is also, coincidentally, Jed Bartlett's (President on The West Wing tv show) alma mater. Every time I think about this experience coming up, I am filled with excitement, fear, and exhilaration. I'm excited because what could be better than spending your junior year in London and being able to travel all over Europe and immerse yourself in a foreign country and study at one of the top schools for social sciences in the world? I have a list of so many countries and cities I want to visit and sights I want to see and foods I want to try. I think about the classes I requested and the unique lecture/seminar mixture model that LSE uses. I think of the beauty of London and the prospect of an adventure.
Then, of course, I start thinking about being on another continent, an ocean away from my family and basically everything I know. I have relatives in Ireland who I kind of know but are very kind, but I text my mom multiple times a day, just to say hi and tell her a funny story. She is my go-to when I can't figure out what on earth to pair with my cream-colored JCrew Sylvia skirt. My dad is my go-to for political discussions and help with professional development and book recommendations. My brother is my 17-year-old best guy friend who I can be silly and serious with, no matter what. I had a very difficult freshman year at Fordham, also. I was homesick and overwhelmed by the idea of "being in college" and having to "grow up" and all of that. It took me several months to feel like I knew what I was doing here and I'm afraid that the immense transition is going to undo this sense of well-being I finally found last year. I don't have several months to "figure it out." I want to enjoy myself and make the most out of my time. What if I'm a mess or don't have any friends or classes are ten times harder than they are here? What if, what if, what if?
But then this sense of exhilaration washes over me: a mixture of pure excitement, and clenching fear. That's the energy that inspires me. It's the good and the bad that drive me. Yes, I was scared to death during my freshman year of everything unfamiliar but I grew so much that year into who I am now so fear isn't necessarily a bad thing, I've learned. And, again, I'm spending my entire junior year in EUROPE. That also helps calm the fear =)
I found the study abroad-specific view book online yesterday while I was supposed to be studying for an exam, and I sat there and combed through the whole thing. I read about cultural attractions in London, clubs and organizations at the School (as it's colloquially called), famous figures who have spoken there, residential life, course descriptions, and I remembered why I fell in love with this school. Oh, and I also re-read the program dates on the study abroad website and, instead of finishing in May like I thought, I'll be there until July! That threw me for a bit of a loop because a) October to JULY? Wow, that's a long time! I'll probably come home for Christmas but I'll definitely be immersed after all that time! b) My brother graduates in June so I'm either going to fly home or someone's going to have to prop me up on Skype so I can see the whole thing.
Then I watched Downton Abbey since the fourth season was finally released on Amazon Prime and I hear the British accents and mannerisms and I smile and remember that, in three months, I'll be a Brit! Cheerio!
Inspired to be,