If you had asked me three weeks ago how I was feeling about my impending trip to Berlin, I might have started crying right then and there. As someone who commutes to school and never really "left" for college, the thought of a whole semester away from my family and my home filled me with fear and doubt. I was terrified. Since then, I have had time to slow down, to reflect, and to prepare myself for this trip. So many people I have talked to about Berlin, whether they were strangers or well known friends, have told me a story or a memory they have of the city and their time spent there. One man met his wife there, another attended language school and learned to live independently, my boss spoke of her memories buying bread at the same bakery everyday while she was stationed in Germany. When you think about it, you can find pieces of your home where ever you go. The experiences I make in my travels will be my own, and someday I'll get to share them in the same way that these people have shared their experiences with me. I recently scribbled down my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quote on a piece of paper so I can carry with me when I'm abroad. She said,
"The encouraging thing is that every time you meet a situation, though you may think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it you find that forever after you are freer than you were before. If you can live through that you can live through anything. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line, it will take away your confidence. You must make yourself succeed everytime. You must do the thing you cannot do."
Going abroad is scary. It's unpredictable and crazy and intoxicating. As I pack my bag for Germany, I keep in mind to include with my things my curiosity and bravery. Because although I know being abroad won't always be comfortable, if I allow myself to experience it fully, it will be well worth the trip.
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<p>Hi there! My names is Fiona and I am a student at Marist College studying Political Science and Art History. I am a big fan of chocolate chip cookies, cross-word puzzles, watching old movies, and of course, traveling! I will be spending a semester in Berlin to learn all about cities, the importance of urban environments, and the local cuisine!</p>