The Lack of Leap Year: My Pre-Departure Adventure

Ali DeGuide
March 2, 2015

I've spent the last week trying to figure out what on Earth I should write about for my pre-departure blog post.  Part of my struggle (or the majority of it, I should say) lies in the fact that I wasn't yet ready to leave.  I don't mean that in a proverbial sense but rather literally - I had nothing packed, hadn't cracked open either of my Berlin or Germany travel books, and opted to spend my last days re-watching "Friends" on Netflix.  Not the most productive I've ever been, to say the least.

Before I go into further detail, I should note that I've never been known for being particularly prepared.  My mother, the pinnacle of preparedness, tried to instill in me the value of thinking ahead, of not waiting until the last second.  In her attempts to instill in me the Scout motto of "Be Prepared", I learned to depend on her keeping track of me instead of learning to keep track of myself.  Of course, part of this changed when I headed off to college, but I would be lying if I said I was anywhere near being independent.  And today was the prime example of that.

My day began normally enough.  My boyfriend and I were trying to make the most of our time left together, so we opted to go to the beach.  On our way there, my mother called me to make sure that everything was going smoothly.  We spoke for a bit before she offhandedly asked me if I had everything packed and was prepared to leave.  Naturally, I laughed off her concern and told her that no, being the procrastinator I am, I hadn't started packing and wouldn't begin until the next day, since I still had a whole day left.  She paused for a minute on the phone, which I later realized was probably in order to digest the ridiculousness of what I had just said, then proceeded with, "Today is March 1st, and your flight is on March 2nd.  You are supposed to leave tomorrow."

Thus, it wasn't until I was next to the beach at approximately 2:00pm the night before my 7:00am flight, with my boogie board-toting boyfriend that I discovered that 2015 was not a leap year.

Rest assured, everything turned out okay.  I packed everything I needed for 6 months in less than 4 hours because if you're as unprepared as I am, you learn how to finish in as little time as possible.  Still, in order to keep my sanity, I should probably take a cue from my mother and start getting things ready sooner...or at least on time.

Therefore, I will end my first post here, so that I can begin mentally preparing for the semester ahead.

 Or maybe, just maybe, it's because I still need to figure out my ride to the airport tomorrow.  

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Ali DeGuide

<p>My name is Ali, and I&#39;m a Political Economy major at the University of Southern California (Trojans!). &nbsp;Ever since I was a little kid and found out that there was such a thing as &quot;study abroad&quot;, I dreamed about doing it. &nbsp;I&#39;d stare at the famous Midwestern cornfields and wonder what it would take to go see the world. &nbsp;I loved the idea of picking up and leaving everything, even if it was only for a short while. &nbsp;Now, I&#39;m living the dream and studying abroad in Berlin, Germany.</p>

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