Well, hello there!
My name is Caroline Norton, and I can hardly believe it, but in less than a month I will be living in Dublin, Ireland! It seems absolutely crazy that my life is about to change so radically so soon, but I could not be more excited to begin this journey.
I am a rising junior and BFA acting major at Texas Christian University (go frogs!), which is conveniently located in my hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. I have lived here for almost a decade, and I love it with all my heart, but I have always had a deep love for travel and a desire to see what it's like to live somewhere completely different, at least for a while. This desire is exactly what enticed me to study abroad, and with my twentieth birthday and my junior year of college quickly approaching, I am becoming more and more curious to discover who I am as an individual outside of the community I have always known.
As much as my university encourages studying abroad, it's pretty difficult to do so with the demands of a fine arts degree plan. When I learned about the IES Abroad program with the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, I knew it was the dream study abroad program for me. This program will allow me to experience living in another country (and one that I have always wanted to visit) without abandoning the love of my life, theatre. As an actor, I am deeply interested in understanding how theatre is done in other parts of the world, and the chance to fully immerse myself in another country's theatrical traditions is one that I could not pass up.
I am so grateful and enthusiastic to start this program, but at the same time, I'm feeling pretty anxious about this whole thing. As I prepare for my grand departure, I am beginning to experience some mixed emotions. Having never been away from my hometown and my family for longer than a month or so, I am nervous about how I will deal with the inevitable homesickness. While my friends from my university will be moving in, starting classes, and going to football games, I will be living halfway across the world. This idea is going to take some getting used to, but I am confident that I can rise to the occasion and take advantage of all the amazing opportunities this study abroad program has to offer rather than let my anxiety get the best of me. Beyond that anxiety, I am so ready to go. The thought of starting over in a place where I will not know who anyone is, honestly, equally exciting as it is terrifying. Anything can happen, and I am ecstatic to start my new adventure.
Hopefully I can figure out how to juggle all of these emotions soon. For now, I'll focus on packing...or at least getting my packing list together.
Here we go!
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<p>Hey there! My name is Caroline Norton, and I am a junior at Texas Christian University with a huge passion for theatre! My favorite sweet snack is frosted circus animal cookies, I have never been to Ireland before, and I kind of believe I am a 40-year-old woman trapped inside a 19-year-old's body. I love to bring stories to life whenever I can whether it be through acting, writing, singing, or any other form of artistic expression, and nothing gives me a greater sense of fulfillment than creating something artistic for others to enjoy.</p>