I was terrified to go abroad. Like, really terrified. I’m talking anxiety dreams and restless nights the entire month leading up to my trip. It was a huge change and I just wasn’t sure if I was ready. Getting on the plane was probably one of the bravest things I’ve ever done. The entire flight my mind was taunting me, “you can’t do this. Four months, are you serious? You’re not strong enough for that yet.” Needless to say, I also didn’t do much sleeping on the plane.
However, after being here for nearly two weeks I realized something. I was right. I wasn’t ready. But, when would I ever be? I read a quote the other day about there never being a right time for something and that you simply must be brave enough to take the first step. I cannot say how true this is.
All of last semester I was expecting to feel some kind of affirmation that my decision to study abroad was the right one. I was expecting to feel more mature and more ready to take on this journey by the time the semester ended. But the truth is, when are we ever really ready to take on any new chapter in our lives? Change is scary. No, change is terrifying. But, as my parents often tell me, “if it wasn’t scary you wouldn’t be growing”.
This trip has taught me that we simply must find the strength within ourselves to take that first leap, that leap of pure and utter faith and believe that things will turn out just fine. Last semester I jumped off my first cliff while training to be an orientation leader. It was a terrifying but exhilarating experience. This semester, I took an ever bigger leap, across an entire ocean. While I was filled with the same anxiety I had while standing on that cliff, I now am experiencing the very same sense of joy and excitement that I felt when my feet hit the water.