“And now it’s time to build from the bottom of the pit
Right to the top
Don’t hold back
Packing my bags and giving the academy a rain check”
The past few days have been filled with preparing and packing for studying abroad! Lots of last minute shopping and struggling to decide what to bring. Over the past few years I’ve come to find that packing is stressful. It’s stressful because you have to make a lot of decisions at once, based on what you think the future will be like (what you’ll need, when you’ll need it) and then you have to figure out how everything you decide you need, (or decide you don’t need but you really want) can fit into a suitcase that is inevitably just barely big enough to fit it all.
This is what packing looks like
Envisioning what a study abroad experience in Latin America is going to be like is really difficult if you’ve never been on one before! Though I’ve talked to people who have been on the program and read the packing guide that IFSA Butler sent, I found myself deliberating over a lot of decisions, “Will I need this? Will I regret taking up space with this?” My usual attempts to be easygoing and not worry about the future were seriously challenged when it came to these practical questions. But if most of my anxiety about this trip stems from not knowing what it will be like, then I should be much calmer in a day!
Even now with all my stuff packed it doesn’t feel like I will be on a plane to Argentina in less than 24 hours. Lots of friends and relatives wished me well today. I could tell they are all really excited for me to begin my adventure, though, right now, I’m having trouble sharing in their enthusiasm. My reality tomorrow will be so different from the one I have been living for the past few months at home, it’s difficult to imagine. Though I know I’m ready for the change, it doesn’t always feel that way.
But whether I’m ready or not, “it’s time to begin”, like in the song by Imagine Dragons. I may feel like the future will be completely different from anything I’ve experienced before, but I also know that if I stay true to myself then I have nothing to fear.
Next time you hear from me I’ll be in Argentina!
“It’s time to begin, isn’t it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then I’ll admit
I’m just the same as I was
Now don’t you understand
That I’m never changing who I am”