Thoughts on Preparing to Go Abroad as a Chronic Procrastinator (Mostly About Packing)

Kyung Yeon Jang headshot
Kyung Yeon Jang
August 17, 2023

It's almost surreal. This thing that I have been working on for months through rounds of applications, it's finally materializing. It didn't feel real when I wrote my essays, or when I got the acceptance package, or when I was browsing the course catalogue for classes I'll be taking abroad, or when I was saying goodbye to my friends at the end of the school year saying, "See you next year!" Like, what do you mean I'm going to school on the other side of the world for four months? What for? Sure... But now that my airplane tickets are arranged, I've ordered a SIM card for my phone, I went through course registration, and everything, it's starting to hit. In less than a week, I am going to be on the other side of the world. Fourteen hours ahead of where I am now. I am the type to not truly believe it until it physically happens to me, which is not the best thing for something that requires so much planning and thinking ahead.

Which brings me to packing. My worst enemy is packing. As a chronic procrastinator, I am starting to feel the pressure of time, but still, here I am writing this blog post instead of getting ready. Merely two days before I have to get on my flight, my suitcases are sitting in my room empty. Absolutely hollow. Piles of clothes are organized into categories across my bedroom floor. My desk is littered with a collection of things I know I'm going to need to pack eventually, but haven't actually packed yet. From I'll start packing a week before! to I'll start packing on Wednesday! (Two days ago) and now, I'll start packing tomorrow! My reasoning for this is because I know what all I need to pack, I know where everything is in general, and there are some things that I will have to use up until I leave, such as clothes, toiletries, and electronics! 

Packing is an extremely daunting task. So ambiguous for no reason. Is this suitcase too heavy? How many socks is enough socks? Should I take this or buy one when I get there? How do I pack this so it doesn't break or leak? Did I forget something? Do I take two big suitcases or one big and one small? 
(I had predetermined that I was going to take my big luggage practically empty and fill it up with things I'm inevitably going to buy while I'm abroad, such as a new wardrobe, gifts for friends and family, souvenirs, and more. *This was a pro-tip that I got from multiple former study abroad students) 

I will probably force myself to start later today for my own good. I think I'm putting it off because, like mentioned earlier, it doesn't feel real yet. And honestly, I've never failed at packing last minute, so I have trust in myself to do it once again. To everyone reading this, do not follow my methods because I do not necessarily recommend procrastinating such matters at all. Please start earlier to make sure you have everything in place. This is just for anyone who is like me to relate to. 

Nevertheless, I am excited, nervous, and hopeful. I know that once I get there, it will all be worth it and I am going to have the time of my life learning new things, meeting new people, and trying all kinds of food. The change in pace and environment is just the thing I needed and I am almost relieved it all worked out. That is, of course, if I start packing now. Which I will go do.

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Kyung Yeon Jang headshot

Kyung Yeon Jang

Walking is my favorite mode of exercise and short-distance transportation when the weather is below 75 degrees. I love sudoku, building Legos, and listening to music! Finding hidden gem food spots is a must for me whenever I go somewhere new!

2023 Fall
Home University:
Santa Clara University
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