My Predeparture Vibe Check

Ang Vaiana
February 10, 2020

Honestly, it still doesn’t feel quite real.

I’m leaving in less than two weeks, but it still sort of seems like I’ll go on just chilling at home forever, even as my mom and I buy things I need or I talk to my friends about leaving. The same thing usually happens when something I’m looking forward to is approaching (obviously it has to be something big, because if I’m just going to hang out with the lads and play Super Smash Bros and I think that’s unreal then something is probably wrong). I remember when I was on a geology trip in Arizona and we were working on observations in this super dope sandstone canyon and I was sitting there thinking “I can’t believe I’m actually on the Arizona Regional trip. This is very wacky.” So I can say studying abroad may not feel real even after I get there.

The nice thing about rocks is that they are very solid. You can smack them and they prove that they’re there and also make your hand hurt if you were too enthusiastic. They can say “Yes this is the present now please get back to work.” Another nice thing about rocks is that they are everywhere, so this reality check will be easily performable there as well. I’ll get to Auckland and my brain will catch up eventually. One problem solved.

Now for the two big questions everyone asks: “Are you excited?” and “Are you nervous?” They want to hear you say “Yes!” and “Of course not”. But alas, my answers are “I guess” and “Heck yeah baby”. So that’s nice.

Why aren’t you excited? Don’t you want to go? Of course I want to go. I put a lot of effort (and money) into this whole thing, and I’m certainly not going in half-hearted. I just tend to not really get excited about things. It might be associated with the whole “not real” thing, I’m not sure. I can get excited, but it’s typically over very minor things like Indian food or cheesecake, which I certainly don’t get all existential about. I think if I have a lot of time to anticipate A Thing I don’t get excited about it. Doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to it, there are just no strong emotions invited to the party.

Key word: invited. Anxiety is never invited, and yet he shows up every time and eats all of the cookies I made for everyone else. What triggers said anxiety, you may ask. Why, it’s being by myself, especially in a new place. Bonus points if it’s loud and crowded. Ya know, that sounds like an airport. Or a city. Or a big university. Well, that sounds like the entirety of my abroad experience. It also sounds like the rest of my life, however, since my passion for volcanoes and my home of Indiana don’t exactly intersect. It’s part of why I’m going, since I know anxiety is gonna show up everytime and I need to get better at shoving him in a corner and not letting him have all the cookies. Hopefully studying abroad will help me get better at that.

That is it for my vibes. I will see y’all on the other side, hopefully with more things to say about cool rocks (among other things).


Ang Vaiana

<p>Hi! My name is Ang (rhymes with dang) and I'm a junior at Hope College in Holland, MI. I'm majoring in geology and I'm really passionate about volcanoes, so be prepared for me to talk about rocks. Besides geology, I like hiking, eating (especially sweets), and playing video games.</p>

Home University:
Hope College
Westfield, IN
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