Am I Actually Ready For This?

Claudia Navarrete
January 2, 2020
Countdown Timer

I’ve been hit with the realization that I will soon spend the next few months thousands of miles away from my general comfort zone. With a few days left before I leave for Milan, my thoughts have been all over the place. Do I have everything packed? Did I overpack? What can I purchase there? What do I have to bring no matter what? Are all my papers in order? OH NO DID I FORGET SOMETHING!?!

As stressful as it can be to pack up your things and move to another country for four months, give or take, my mind is also racing with exciting possibilities. All of the many opportunities to travel around Europe, develop close friendships, eat as much pasta as I desire, and a load of other adventures. I'll actually get to see what it's like to live on my own without having family around. Freedom at last!

Setting off to commence a life-changing experience will come with all sorts of mixed emotions and expectations. It’s simply what comes with the territory. But the good thing about it, is that it’s completely normal. You’re nervous about beginning this journey, and that’s okay! Everyone will react differently to the same situation. There’s no pre-set manual on how one must act in given scenarios, whether it be a minor or life-changing event (although if such manuals do exist, I would like ten copies please. Maybe more).

When it came to preparing my things for Milan, I wrote down lists detailing everything that I would possibly need while I was over there. This all ranged from clothes, hygiene, medicines, and any random items that seem like they’d be useful. Some items were easy to figure out, and others required more thinking than I realized. Are four pairs of sneakers too many? It would be for someone who’s low-maintenance. Did I expect to have a hard time deciding if to bring peanut butter? Not exactly, no.

Did I spend more time thinking about these than I should’ve? Yes, indeed I did. How much unnecessary stress did that add on? Quite a bit of it. But looking at it from an outside perspective, it all becomes part of the learning experience. Studying a semester abroad isn’t just meant to learn about other cultures and travel throughout the country, as fun as that all is. It’s also a way to see ourselves grow and learn things about us that normally wouldn’t come to mind back home. Once May comes around and it’s time to leave, we’ll look back on these first few days and see just how much each one of us has changed. Change is a big part of life, and I’ve never been one to like changes. But this one, this particular change has me waiting for whatever else is coming my way.

Although now I need to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius and miles to kilometers... that's another thing. But I’ll save that for later.

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Claudia Navarrete

<p>Hi everyone! I'm an accounting major coming out of Miami, a cultural hotspot for people all over the world. As someone who has rarely ventured out on her own, I plan to make my semester abroad an opportunity to expand both my educational knowledge and personal growth. I do love business, but I also enjoy seeing why and how other people make the choices they do. I speak my thoughts and opinions openly, so get ready for an inside look at the next 5-6 months of my life.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2020 Spring
Home university:
Florida International University
Hometown:
Sunrise, FL
Major:
Accounting
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