WOOO. It is now officially the day night before I leave for England, and the months of distant planning have finally boiled down to something a little more tangible, albeit equally surreal. That is to say; regardless of the continued absurdity of the idea of me flying across the Atlantic tomorrow, the realities of things like “preparation” are starting to hit home. Yeah, I’ve had an exhaustive list of things to pack for a while now, but don’t ask me where that camera charger is [update: found it] or what the weight limit is for checked luggage on my flight. And, sure, I already said goodbye to my friends (multiple times), and I feel guilty for dwelling on it so much because they are just going along with their lives, but missing one of my few semesters with them is not something that I take lightly.
Don’t get me wrong; I am beyond excited for this journey. I am fully convinced that it will be worth every piece of paperwork, every last-minute scramble through the still-boxed remnants of my sophomore dorm room, and every month of extended separation from my dear friends and family… because I think that meeting new people and exploring new ideas is one of the most important things that I have the power to do. This journey is about me trying to do that in the most meaningful way I can imagine. Needless to say, I am looking so forward to immersing myself in a new culture and challenging my perception of education with Oxford tutorials. I hope that this blog will encapsulate some sort of growth in that regard and also be helpful to future students who plan on embarking on this journey.
In the name of logistical improvement, here are a few disputable items that I might pack. Later, I’ll reflect on how necessary or unnecessary they were:
Notebooks for classes
Five sweaters & four cardigans
Two pairs of jeans & two pairs of dressier pants
Five regular/nice shirts
One pair of each of the following: rainboots, sneakers, flats, flip-flops, desert boots
Travel-sized (and no regular-sized) shampoo, soap, hairspray
(My goal for packing is one checked bag, one carry-on, and a backpack)
It is now the day of my departure and I have a mission ahead of me: I have to get my body and my belongings (which are REALLY heavy), all together, to my residence building in London by tomorrow 3 pm London time. This includes a substantial drive to the airport of my departure, a flight across the Atlantic Ocean, getting through customs on the other side of the pond, a taxi ride, and probably a lot of unforeseen sub-missions, and is by far the part of my entire semester that I am the most apprehensive about. Hopefully by my next entry, I will have a lot of stories and answers and insights, but meanwhile I’m going to be trying my best out there.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Samantha Loria is a junior Molecular Genetics/History double major at the University of Rochester in Western New York. She is an Irish Dancer, loves music and learning from all kinds of people and is going on the adventure of her life at Oxford University! She plans on soaking up all the culture, knowledge, and nature that she can handle and here, in this blog, she will seek to pass along all of the wisdom that she encounters, the emotions that she feels, and the incredible sights that she sees on this great journey. Come, explore, and learn!</span></p>