The Countdown to Unknown Independence in Vienna, Austria

Selina Donahue
January 12, 2016

Life is about to get weird.

In just a few hours I will find myself in a situation never experienced before; Alone, on an airplane which will take me to a country where I will also be hopelessly and frantically alone. And then for the next 4 months? Yea, also alone.

Okay, maybe not quite as there is hope for future friendships, but this newfound independence may at first make me feel as though it’s simply me against the world.

For the youngest of three, I am quite familiar with the method of holding another’s hand and just following along for the ride. But now I find myself with internal turmoil, anxiety and fear on high. Anything that could go wrong, will go wrong. All your luggage? It’s gone, fell out of the airplane during takeoff. You’re starving and in the airport? Too bad, someone just stole your wallet, or even worse… Your card was declined. In. Front. Of. Everyone. And don’t even get me started with the struggle of lifting a 50 pound suitcase when your arms could be pushed through the eye of a needle.

Yea, no pressure.

You see, I have spent much of my life the same way. I have always lived in the same place, attending school never more than half an hour away. Going to college in D.C. means living at home and commuting everyday, a.k.a., you’ve never had to say goodbye to the family you love to leave them for 4 or so months. Being an emotional adult baby, this does not bide well. I fully expect to cry in public at least once… Let’s be honest, twice. Not having my support system readily available to me will be hard, however it is part of growing up. In a way, this is the freshman year in college experience I never had, as it brings on many new aspects of life I’ve never had before; an apartment, far from family, a need to make new friends, and a different “school.” This is scary, but it’s also bringing upon excitement of the unknown.

While I am sad to leave the people I love, I know this will be exciting and monumental, and  I will cherish this event in my life for a long time. In order to counteract any arising fears, I must think of what I am excited to experience in this new country:

Seeing the art of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele in person. Tasting the well known coffee and pastries of Austria. Sketching the memorable people and events around me. Discovering new music. Experiencing the opera for the first time. Attempting learning how to waltz.  Learning about the rich history of Austria, and even more importantly for me, studying Austrian art and architecture.

Though the nerves are strong thanks to my soon departure, I know I will have an amazing and fulfilling semester. Less than 24 hours to go!

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Selina Donahue

<p>Selina is a Junior Studio Art Major at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She enjoys long walks in the halls of art museums, eating too many cupcakes, and absorbing the world around her to feed as inspiration for all her creative endeavors. Her specialties lie in taking too many pictures and expressing joy over the little things. Selina is excited to share the beauty she sees all over Vienna during her stay with all who hop on over to her little blog!</p>

2016 Spring
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