Pre-departure nerves and Reflections

Emma Dickenson
August 27, 2018

Today is the first time I've felt nervous about my trip. 

All week I've been so excited and ready to be in country already, and I still am feeling that, but the nerves crept up on me today with only a day to go before departure. 

Let me back up, introduce myself, and set the scene. My name is Emma, and I'm writing this blog post on my bed that is still full of stuff that needs to be packed. I'm a homebody at heart, but I also have an overwhelming desire to experience the world. Looking out of my window through some books and plants I have an amazing view of downtown Knoxville, a city I never thought I would fall in love with, but have over the past two years while studying at UTK.

This time last year, I had no confidence and had just decided to take a semester off from school and honestly wasn't sure if I'd return. It's totally crazy to think about honestly. I was such a homebody, I felt weird spending the night away from Knoxville, and this fear made me miss some really cool opportunites. Over some time, I realized that fear was ridiculous and that taking on life was much more interesting. 

So here I am now,  ready to take on my semester studying Sustainability in Freiburg, Germany. My goal for this blog is to share my photography and give poeple a glimpse into my life, learning and adventures, while hopefully being totally genuine and relatable, as I've learned that vulnerability is a wonderful way to build relationships. My goal for the semester is to meet some really cool people and hopefully travel my heart out while I'm in Europe. When I was little, I remember my mom telling me "the world is your oyster," so I'm hoping to become a fearless roaming pearl I guess. 

Now back to the nerves. I'm nervous my friends will have changed while I'm gone and I'll miss out on fun opportinues with them. I'm scared that I'll be upset when I see everyone enjoying football season back home. I have doubts that I'm not capable of navigating airports, unfamiliar cities, public transportation and the classes in Germany. 

All this being said, if someone told me right now that I couldn't go on this trip after eight months of looking foward to it, I'd be devastated. I've worked very hard to save money and I know that this is a huge privilege for me to have this opportunity. So, I will miss my friends, family, school and my city, but time away will make coming home sweeter.

So if you're reading this, I hope you will follow along with me! If you're in a position similar to where I was, maybe unsure about college, lacking confidence or just curious about studying abroad, I hope this might spark something in you to start taking on life one hundred percent instead of holding back! Fear is normal, doubts are normal, but carrying on despite these feelings is what makes life exciting!

Auf Wiedersehen Knoxville! 

Emma Dickenson

<p>Hi! My name is Emma, and I'm currently studying sustainability at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. I LOVE being outside doing anything from running, climbing, traveling, gardening, reading, taking pictures of my family's flower farm, cooking, or eating. If I am inside, I have to be near a window or natural light, a speak a little bit of Spanish and German (and love learning languages), and I really enjoy learning about cultures through language, food, and exploring!</p>

Home University:
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Maryville, TN
Environmental Studies
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