I count down the days before my flight. Am I all packed? One day before my flight and I start stuffing all my clothes into my suitcases. Up to this point, I’m still hoping I actually did pack everything because I definitely forgot to cross everything off on each and every little check-list I made.
To most people, the thought of being displaced from your home and plopped into a completely unfamiliar city is utterly terrifying. For each individual, the shock hits at different times. For months beforehand, my other friends preparing for their studies abroad would tell me how anxious they were: I would constantly reassure them. For me, I didn’t start to feel the nervousness of leaving until the night before. I had a nice farewell dinner with my family but I was quiet. For the first time, I understood the anxious feelings my friends felt. Luckily, being abroad is like second nature to me, so I understand that leaving your family for months is hard and feeling sad is inevitable but it’s all part of the experience. Even though there will be hard times, they are extraordinary minimal in the big picture. As I embark on my journey to the United Kingdom, I could not be more excited to explore all that Manchester has to offer.
While it’s possible it will rain every single day in Manchester, the sushi won’t match LA’s, I’ll have to switch my iced coffees to hot coffee so I don’t freeze, and I’ll struggle with the accent barrier - that is where the excitement comes from. For this one semester, I have the opportunity to find a new favorite drink, experience a British classroom setting, pinpoint the differences between British and American accents, and try new foods and activities that aren’t offered or as accessible in LA.
My best suggestion to those abroad would be to embrace those experiences of anxiety, confusion, or being lost in a city — after a short period of time, the city won’t be that foreign anymore. To me, that’s the fun of it.
I am thrilled to have received the opportunity to continuously share my journey! ✈️