Imagine…sitting around your family members, reminiscing on old memories, and getting in those last few moments before you leave. *Ding* Suddenly, your hands start to sweat, and your heart begins to race. As you begin to reach for your phone, you know what that sound means. Your life is going to forever change and it will never be the same again. You find out that it’s an email telling you that it’s time for you to check in for your flight. Interesting, how something so simple can cause you so much stress and excitement at the same time.
That’s how this whole process of going to Paris has been for me. Except, without the dramatic storyline and added triggers. I started this process over a year ago and somehow, I am still not prepared for what’s to come. That’s the thing most people don’t talk about when you study abroad: You’re never prepared. And with the added stress of Covid, you have plenty of additional questions running through your mind:
- Did I pack enough?
- Do I have enough masks?
- Do I have everything that I need?
- Where will I be sleeping?
- Where is my vaccination card?
- Will there be internet?
- Will I be able to call my family?
- How will I get around the city?
- How will I get there?
- Will I make any friends?
- Will I survive?
From packing my whole life away to the ups and downs of Covid regulations and trying to get those last few minutes with my loved ones: It can be stressful, and you can feel like there is no way you’re going to be prepared.
All these questions signify what all of us are thinking when it comes to study abroad. If we’re not careful these same questions can keep us from going at all. Not only do you feel the stress, but you worry about what it's going to be like when you get there. At one point, I almost didn’t go at all this semester. I had just about given up and thought that I was never going to travel abroad and see the many sights I’ve been wanting to see since I was young. There were too many unknowns and not enough answers but isn’t that what study abroad is all about? Having that adventure full of unknowns and anticipating the wonderful experiences that lie ahead?
I thought about these exact things from the time I started this process until writing this post. A lot of things may have gone wrong during this journey, but I cannot wait to meet my destination. Around this same time tomorrow, I will be on a plane thinking about the amazing people I will meet, the things I will learn, and the ability to bask in all things, French. Going to Paris this fall is going to be an adventure that I’ll never forget. I know that I know that there will be some bumps and hurdles, but if there is anything this process has taught me, it's not to give up and keep going because you’re on the path towards something great. That leaves me to say…adieu le monde.
“People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.” —Edmund Hillary
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<p>Bonjour Mes Amies! My name is Zoey Tyson-Taylor and I’m a senior studying at Hollins University, majoring in Business and History. Don’t worry, I know it’s a weird combo! I am studying abroad in Paris this Fall of 2021. I am so excited to be sharing my journey with you all! My favorite things are my family, language learning, and good food. But my one true love is ice cream…</p>