Leaving the comfort of the familiar to study abroad is like standing on the edge of a pool. Your toes are over the edge, the water sparkling below, and there’s this tug in your stomach begging you to jump. That tug, though, is also a bundle of nerves and anxieties— you desperately want to swim, but you know you’re going to have to jump first. There’s no way to avoid how cold it will be until your body adjusts or the possibility of water rushing right up your nose. In short, it’s exhilarating but terrifying all at once.
While the metaphor may be cliche, it stands true. I thought the tangible and practical aspects of preparing would be the most difficult, but it’s been my mindset that seems the hardest to figure out (well, to be fair, packing was pretty tough too, but that’s just because I have a lot of clothes and a tough time saying no). More than anything, I’m excited to finally venture off into the city I’ve been thinking about since I started planning this semester a whole year ago. It’s just the jump I’m worried about, the brief moment of panic as I’m immersed somewhere different that will take some adjustment.
It’s this moment in particular, however, that also makes experiences like this so thrilling. So many people never leave the ledge, never leave what they’re used to, and those who find themselves brave enough to suffer some potential moments of discomfort also get incredible moments of discovery and joy. While fear may be present right now, there is too much at stake to give into it. I want to jump.
And though the initial shock of jumping may wear off, I don’t want to forget the feeling. I’m not traveling miles upon miles to fall into complacency. The next four months are about pushing myself to experience new and fresh things, to learn in a way I’ve never been able to before. I’m going to travel and meet people and learn more about the world. It may all sound a bit idealistic, but I consider myself to be just the right mix of practical and imaginative to take it on. And not only that, but I’d love for you all to take the journey with me as I discover what exactly the next four months will hold.
For those of you who don’t know me (namely those who are neither my mom nor the friends she undoubtedly sent this to… hi mom! hi friends!), I’m Annie Lindenberg. The official biography states I’m a Sophomore at Emerson College in Boston, MA majoring in Writing, Literature, and Publishing who hails originally from Wisconsin (in case you’re wondering: us Wisconsinites really do call a water fountain a bubbler and we really do like cheese more than you). The unofficial biography states I eat much too much guacamole, love corgis with all my heart, and once met Emma Watson in a New York art museum (this may have been the peak of my life, only time will tell). Nice to meet you! It’s a pleasure, I’m sure.
Now that we're acquainted, I’ll make my hasty exit for the time being, but I hope you stick around for what’s to come. Shortly, we’ll be reunited again and this time I’ll be in London. I’ll have made the jump and acclimated to the crystalline waters of the pool.
You know, you guys really should join… the water is just lovely.
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<p>Annie Lindenberg spends the majority of her year in Boston, MA where she is studying Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College. Along with her creative writing pursuits, she also writes film and television reviews as a staff writer for Emertainment Monthly. When not writing or exploring, you can find her eating copious amounts of guacamole and starting books she has almost no time to finish.</p>