FOMO and Frenzy

For the past few months, I have been bouncing between excitement and nerves in anticipation of the upcoming semester. I read something about Nantes and I am itching to be exploring the old, stone streets and be surrounded by the French language and culture that I have always admired and loved. Then I hear my friends at school discussing their plans for the spring semester and I can’t help but feel a bit… jealous? Is that possible?! How could I possibly envy my peers staying in snowy Rochester eating frozen food when I will be in France, completely immersed in a beautiful new culture?

My sister recently taught me a new abbreviation to refer to what I have been experiencing: FOMO. It stands for “fear of missing out” and I think it perfectly describes my opposing feelings. I will be missing squash matches, concerts, a semester with a friend studying abroad from Brazil, and the next show that my suitemates will watch on Netflix. It has been hard for me to realize that their lives will be continuing as usual without me there to share the fun.

Of course I also have my fears about being in Nantes. I am insecure about my French skills, worried about conflicts with my host family, and nervous about my classes.
However, as terrifying as the sum of all of these things is, it has not deterred me from my goal of studying abroad. I know that I want to improve my French and change my view of the world and there is no better way to do these things than to study abroad! Sure, I’ve had to remind myself many times that this is the right choice for me, but I am still confident that it is in fact the best use of my semester. Netflix and squash will be waiting for me when I return!

In terms of physical preparation, my procrastinator tendencies are really showing themselves… I have spent less time worrying about packing than I have worrying about being there. I’m sure I will forget a few things but that is one of the many reasons that I’m lucky to be going to France!

And one bit of advice if you plan on studying abroad (especially in France): start the visa application process early! It is certainly something that can add to your stress level if you leave it to the last minute. I would recommend scheduling an appointment at the consulate as soon as you have been accepted to the program to make sure your visa will be processed in time. It will be a huge weight lifted from your shoulders once it’s done.

All in all, my preparations have gone fairly smoothly and I am excited for what the semester will bring. See you in Nantes!

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