Leaving Long Island
Leaving for college each year has never been easy, but usually it just means a three and a half hour train ride to good ol’ Lancaster, PA. This time it’s a bit different. Choosing to study abroad was something I always knew I wanted to do. It was just a question of where and when. However, I don’t think the impact of that decision will truly hit me until I get off the plane in Sydney, or maybe even when I land back in New York months from now. Over the past few days through the frantic shopping for last minute items, the packing, and the last goodbyes to friends and family, people have been asking me if I’m scared to go. Of course I’m scared, in fact I’m terrified, but I’ve also never been more excited.
Choosing to study abroad was something I always knew I wanted to do. I think what’s become the most difficult reality to face is that it’s actually happening. It’s fun to fantasize about the places you’ll go or the kind of program you’ll choose. It’s thrilling to see other people’s pictures of Facebook or Instagram of their own adventures, but only today it’s truly hit me that soon I’ll be the one doing that. Soon enough it won’t be a fantasy any longer and I can only take the sudden queasiness in my stomach when I say those words as a good sign. It’s good to be nervous. Anyone who wouldn’t be afraid to travel across the world for the first time would be insane as much as I would like to believe that I’ll keep my cool. I’ll have moments of doubt, moments of homesickness, and moments of loneliness, but I’ll also have moments of wonder, moments of joy, and moments that will last me a lifetime. I think accepting that all these emotions are valid and inevitable are an important step in seeing that fantasy I’ve pictured in my head become a reality in front of my eyes.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’ll miss you Long Island. Probably more so than when I leave for Franklin and Marshall each semester. I won’t be leaving my home and family to see my close friends or the campus I’ve come to love. Instead I’ll be leaving you in all your summertime glory to go somewhere entirely new. Perhaps this place won’t have your great bagels or the convenience of having a Whole Foods every 5 miles, but it will have adventure and things I’ve never seen before. It will have people to meet and places to see, and believe me I will see it all just so when I come back I can tell you all about it. I was scared to go to F&M at first. Part of me wished more than anything that I decided to go to a college closer to home, but now I couldn’t imagine my life without the people I’ve met there (truly the greatest people in the world) or the home I found in its buildings. I leave you Long Island with the hope that I’ll find the part of you, that I found in F&M, a home. See you in Sydney!