Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Most students preparing to study abroad fill their minds with what books to bring or how many socks to pack. But for me, my mind was filled with something a little different. My question that I asked myself was whether or not I should stay… or go.
I finished exams and came home for Christmas break knowing that I had two good months to prepare for my upcoming adventure abroad to Costa Rica. Excitement hadn’t hit me yet, because I knew it wouldn’t be real until I stepped off the plane into the tropic land.
The reason why I questioned if I should even go is due to a change in my plan that was completely unexpected…. Let’s just call it a BIG bump in the road.
The Friday before Christmas, I was invited to play some soccer by a couple of friends. Soccer is one of my favorite sports and I was thrilled at the opportunity to play in a pick-up game. Halfway through, I stepped wrong and felt 4 pops in my right knee. Two pops out. Two pops back in. I immediately fell to the ground, hurt and in pain… but mostly mad. I knew right away the consequences of what had just happened, because the exact thing happened to me before– 5 years ago on the other knee.
I found out later after getting an MRI scan that I tore many ligaments in my knee and needed to get surgery right away. My surgery date was set for January 15th. My flight to Costa Rica was set for January 26th (my 21st birthday I might add).
Let’s just say that I might’ve panicked… a lot.
[My dog, Parker, showing me some sympathy after the surgery.]
Through many phone calls and discussions Butler agreed to let me come as late as February 2nd. It gave me one more week to try and recover from my surgery.
Happily the surgery went very well and the damage wasn’t as bad as the doctors expected it to be. But I knew that I had a very long, hard road ahead of me. I also knew that I had a big decision to make—Costa Rica or stay home?
Many fears creeped in. I was scared that I would be limited in Costa Rica. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to play soccer, hike, learn to surf—all the things that I desired to do while I was abroad. I was also majorly afraid of the unknown.
I knew everything that would happen if I stayed at home. I would stay home, go to physical therapy, and hopefully be able to take a semester off of school. These comforts of knowing home and the fears of the unknown in Costa Rica trumped my excitement for going abroad.
So a week before February 2nd, I called Butler and told them that I wasn’t going to Costa Rica.
After I hung up the phone with my devoted advisor, I sat around my house for two hours thinking heavily about my decision. And then… it hit me. Who the heck would give up this amazing opportunity? This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to go on an adventure like this. Was I really going to throw it all away just because I was afraid of the unknown? Just because I wanted to be safe?
So as you can see, I immediately called Butler back and told them that I was a GO!
A little late, but my mind is now filled with the questions of what books to bring and how many socks I should pack. I am excited to see what these next 5 months have in store. Yes, I am afraid. But I know that in the end, it is going to be ALL worth it.