I now have just one more week. One more week of waiting and nerves. One more week to pack. One more week to think, “Wait, I’m going to Northern Ireland?”
It’s strange to think that a year ago I was an International Student Ambassador welcoming new students to my own school. I thought it must be strange to start the school year off in a country that you had never before visited, a whole new continent even. I wondered how they were able to pack all of the things they needed for a semester or year abroad. I marveled at how they were coping with our accents. I was mind-blown at the different ways they handled culture shock, and the time change of course!
Now, I’m asking myself, “How do I fit my life into two suitcases? What if I can’t understand my professors? And how on Earth am I going to sleep with this time change?”
How did I get to this place in life? Well, I suppose I should explain that for those who don’t know. On a whim, I applied to the Irish American Scholars program. Three students from my school were nominated, and only two were accepted. I just happened to be lucky enough to be one of them.
In March, I got my official acceptance. Then, I went to Mexico for a few weeks to study Spanish, because I’m cultured and what not. After I returned home for the summer, a flurry of emails and phone calls to my school and to the University of Ulster ensued. Finally, everything is mostly resolved, I have my round-trip plane tickets, and I’m ready to start packing.
So how do I feel? Part of me is nervous. Part of me still doesn’t believe that I’m studying abroad in Northern Ireland. And part of me thinks I’m crazy because I thought this would never work out while letting me graduate on time (which there is still a small chance it could all fall to shambles). All in all, I’m mostly just ready to get going and start my final year of undergraduate studies!