As I step into my junior year at The University of Georgia, I experience a different feeling. I which my closest friends go from class to class and meet up for lunches and catch-up between advising appointments and yet, I am not doing any of these things. I am not attending classes, I’m not booking advising appointments and I’m certainly not gathering syllabi from professors. I am waiting. I am waiting for my third year to start. I am getting my passport situated and researching “how to pack and not go over the weight limit” or booking my plane ticket. Instead of going to class August 11th like all of my friends, I’m preparing for my biggest adventure and challenge: Study Abroad.
I got the news that I had been accepted into the UGA en France study abroad trip in the Spring of 2016. I was over the moon with excitement. New place, new continent, new language, new culture? It’s everything I ever dreamed of. But somehow in the midst of that I still found myself at a standstill. When I applied, I was encouraged to go on a trip without any of my friends in order to get that full experience all for myself, and I did. Now that I was in, really in, I started to put things in perspective and really think about how I wanted this experience to go. The doubt started to settle in. And the what-ifs piled up.
What if I don’t make any friends? What if I don’t do well in my classes? What if my host family doesn’t like me? What if I don’t like my host family? What if I can;t pay for the trip?What if I get robbed? What if I get taken? All these suppositions and I hadn’t even gone to the first orientation, and I realized that that’s all they were, was supposition. These thoughts were based on fear. So, I took it one step at a time. I created a gofundme page at https://gofundme.com/SubiToFrance and I became proactive in raising the necessary money needed to get me to where I needed to be. I have been waiting for this opportunity since the 10th grade when I started to look at UGA seriously. I knew the ins and outs of the trip and I had researched and prayed and worked for this. I knew I was ready. All that was left to do was get there.
The summer passed by, May, June, July, and suddenly it’s August and classes are starting… and I’m still waiting. It’s a different kind of feeling, being on campus when I don’t have obligations to attend classes or buy books, and all I have on my agenda is work. You have a new appreciation for meeting up with friends in the Student Center or grabbing coffee and a muffin in between classes. All the time is precious. I leave Athens for home in 4 days. That gives me 96 more hours with my friends until I disappear for 4 months to another continent. But you know what? I’m ready for this adventure, ready to challenge myself and immerse my thoughts in the French language and culture. So while I sit and wait for another 24 days until my departure, this is what I have to look forward to, am looking forward to. This is what I am waiting for.