The Waiting Game
It’s been over two months since I left school in North Carolina and came home for winter break. Now, a countdown on my phone tells me that I have one day and nine hours until my flight departs from New York. I’m sure that every student who has been abroad can agree that the entire process bring you through a range of emotions that aren’t always the easiest to deal with, and I’m currently at the crossroads of two of those emotions.
Boredom: What could I have done for the past two months? Perhaps what other students are planning on doing over the summer, I could have gotten a job, I could have seen some shows, maybe traveled around the country, I could have visited family, I could have done any number of things. Unfortunately, it was tough to find anyone who was hiring for such a short period of time and without a job it was very simple to convince myself that I should save money for a, based on what I’ve heard, rather expensive country. Although I haven’t been completely sedentary this entire break, I’ve construed this brief period of time as a transition, a time between two more significant chunks of my life that won’t necessarily hold any significant place in my memory. As bad as that sounds, that’s just the way it is. That being said, I’ve grown used to this state of relaxation. Every day I can wake up late, go on a nice walk with the dog, get a quick workout in, and watch everything on Netflix two times over, and I’m very content with that. I know, however, that this feeling cannot last forever, and such a lack of significance and fulfillment has me slowly slipping into boredom.
Part of me is ok with that boredom, as I know that an end of boredom means that it’s time to travel, and that realization is met with the other emotion.
Anxiety: I’m sure all students who have been abroad have felt this. I remember feeling like this before heading to Orientation Week at Wake Forest my freshman year. This time though, I’m not only going to a new school but a new country, in a continent I’ve never been to, on a side of the planet I’ve never been on. That’s a lot of newness. In addition, I feel as though I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to make the most of every moment while I’m in Australia, so much so that I’m afraid I’ve set unfair expectations upon myself. I know I should pressure myself like that, and realizing that I have is making it easier to reduce that pressure, but the fact remains that the pressure is there.
With a repetitive routine draining me of enthusiasm, a wave of uncertainty washing over me, and the internal pressure bouncing around in my head, I’ve found myself, on the eve of my journey, plagued with boredom and anxiety. Fortunately, I think that these feelings are just a byproduct of the more important emotion I haven’t mentioned, which is excitement. I know that it will be an amazing time and what’s left to do now is get over myself, pack my backs, and dive right in.
Next time you hear from me I won’t be such a curmudgeon, because next time you hear from my I’ll be on the other side of the world in Brisbane, Australia.
Now to start packing…