When I was a child, which was only a decade ago if you think about it, I was too scared to talk to my next door neighbour – who I had known all my life. I was too shy to do anything without friends. I would never talk to strangers, which is a sensible thing for a child to do but it was my shyness that was behind this and not my awareness of Stranger Danger.
Now that scared child has decided to go study in the USA for an entire year.
What. Am. I. Doing.
If you thought moving to the UK’s second city, Birmingham, was too much for this once shy human then 10 months in the USA might actually push me over the edge.
Thankfully, the fear of talking to strangers and doing things without any friends isn’t the reason why I’m so emotional about leaving. Even though I’m still incredible shy and sometimes say absolutely nothing in social situations (which I’m painfully aware of and I’m trying to fix that but let me be, I promise I’m always listening), I’m 100% more confident in myself and who I am. I talk to ALL the retail workers. I think that has more to do with the fact I am also employed in retail but still.
Honestly, I think the true reason for my emotion are due to the fact this year has been so wonderful. I completed my second year of university, but it’s not the academic side that has me wishing it hadn’t ended. I did so many things that were out of my comfort zone this year: I covered protests and marches, interviewed several people, began writing for another publication, worked for a national publication during the election, and actually joined a drama/singing society – comic opera no less. I was so busy with society commitments and general socialisation that I didn’t know where to turn, which was a good thing. I made new friends and ket close with those I had met in first year. I lived in such a wonderful house and the fact my life won’t be like this again is a bit distressing.
This is dramatic I know, but let me be for a few days.
Back to the study abroad thing.
I’m currently sat around my university belongings, some things still sit in their boxes but most things are on the floor trying to find a place to live – it’s not pretty. Now that I’ve moved back home the only thing I have to do before departing for the US is work in my summer job. Which is fine but I’d quite like some more distraction from the date when I leave the UK for ten months.
The thing is, I’m not even that scared about moving to another country and another culture. I’m more distressed about the fact I won’t see my friends, family and dog for a significant amount of time. I’m not exactly the type to get home sick but the first few months of university were hard and although I didn’t go home that often, it was always an option. I’m also absolutely petrified of the long haul flight I’m going to put myself on to get to the US. And I suppose it’s absolutely normal to feel this way, especially as I have no idea what I’m walking into in August.
My future is currently one big unknown adventure. This is both scary and exciting.