My Journey to the Final Countdown

Charles Hamer
July 24, 2018

72 Hours from now, I'll be on my way to the airport. We've reached The Final Countdown.

After weeks of going back and forth, challenging my FOMO, and embracing the growth that I am bound to achieve by studying abroad, I am days away from begining my semester abroad in Buenos Aires. This moment was a long time coming and my journey to deciding to study in Buenos Aires is an interesting one.

St. Olaf College, my home school, is a quaint little Minnesota college. I'm very comfortable there. I can greet and recognize almost everyone on campus. I have a great group of friends that I hope to keep in my life for a long time. and I can even tolerate the Cafeteria food most days. It's easy to ask, "well, why leave?" It's a pretty good question. As I'm gearing up for leaving soon, I am most happy with the answer that I have now. 

Being comfortable is a great feeling. We're lucky if we can go around and be comfortable in the places that are a part of our lives. However, I also think that comfortability can be a double-edged sword. While looking back at my life, the moments that have shaped me the most, have been uncomfortable. They've been full of challenges and moments where I had to work harder than I wish I did. While finishing up the first half of my college career, I had realized that I hadn't grown in the past year as much as I wish I had. There were still many goals I had set to accomplish, and I wasn't sure whether or not I could complete them all in the couple of years that followed. 

I had been teetering back and forth about a decision when I went to visit my friends for some clarity. He was in the middle of a show on Netflix but paused it to hear me out. I'll never forget this conversation because he reminded me about how small parts we are of a much bigger world and how much traveling and being a part of communities in the rest of the world can push us to grow and make us global-minded citizens. These are practices I valued and believed in. However, I was afraid of putting them into practice in my own life. 

Now I'm counting down to this new adventure. I'm so excited to be a part of something bigger and have an experience that I'll never forget. I'm thankful for the people in my life that have pushed me to get to this point. 

To anyone on the fence about studying abroad, I'd say to just take that leap. There's no difficulty that you could encounter abroad that you can't overcome. There'll be more memories to be made back home once you come back. All the logisitics will get panned out. Just reach out and ask for help. 

These are all ideas that I've grappled with understanding but now fully believe in. A year ago, if you were to tell me that today I'd be days away from embarking on this journey, i'd be pretty skeptical.

Now, a true adventure awaits.

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Charles Hamer

<p>I love coffee, friends, and exploring new places. I would love to write and publish a book where I learn more about some of the most unheard voices in places around the world. Hearing new stories and visiting new places are two of my favorite experiences.</p>

Home University:
St. Olaf College
Chicago, IL
Business Administration
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