I’ve always been a little on the spontaneous side. I hate making decisions, so I just do things in the moment without really thinking about it. I figure, apply now and decide later. Exchange was something I’ve always wanted to do, but the opportunity never presented itself in any real way, until now. All of my housemates were planning on applying, so I either had to apply with them or stay in our house alone for the semester—and the right choice was obvious to me.
I wanted an exchange experience completely different from home, somewhere that didn’t speak English as a first language. As an English major being taught English writers by English-speaking professors, life can get pretty redundant. Stockholm, Sweden fit all of my criteria—Europe, different language, big city—so it seemed like a good choice.
I applied just under a year ago and suddenly the countdown receded from months to weeks. As my departure date draws nearer, the panic is setting in. What the hell am I doing?! My apartment is rented, courses chosen, flights booked—it’s too late to turn back now. But I can’t help but wonder if I made the right choice. Yes, this is something I have always wanted to do but now that I’m doing it, I’m freaking out.
What if I get there and absolutely hate it? What if I don’t make friends? What if I get homesick? What if my boyfriend and I can’t last the long distance? There are just so many “what ifs." How could I not panic? I’m supposed to board a plane in two weeks and leave everyone I love behind for 6 months…WTF?!
I’m so excited and nervous at the same time that I’m starting to get whiplash. I’m torn between packing everything and making the perfect travel playlist and latching myself onto my boyfriend and “accidentally” missing the plane. I just don’t understand how I’m supposed to walk away in the airport.
I pride myself on my ability to be alone…I’ve never been the kind of girl that needed to be surrounded by people at all times. But this is next-level independence: I’m literally going to be on a different continent than my family and friends. I am way too introverted to go through the hassle of building another group of friends.
I know this is going to be *insert cheesy cliché about life-changing experience here* but my life at home is equally as great. I’m scared for all the things I’ll miss out on while I’m away and for all the things I’ll be doing without the people I want to do them with the most. I guess I just wish I took this opportunity before I got so comfortable having my people so close by.