Deciding Not To Study Abroad Was The Best Decision For Me
Start writing a post
Student Life

Deciding Not To Study Abroad Was The Best Decision For Me

A week before I was supposed to leave, I cancelled my visa.

117
Deciding Not To Study Abroad Was The Best Decision For Me
Meredith Scroggin

The idea of studying abroad during fall of my junior year was a natural assumption. The idea of galloping throughout Europe with all of my best friends and going to a different country every weekend flashed in the heads of all of us throughout freshman and sophomore year. Our friends returned back from abroad talking about how abroad was the best time ever. With plenty of Instagram pics and a newfound love for fancy foods with them when they were back at UR, it seemed like it was what we all wanted.

But it isn't necessarily always that. I decided two weeks before leaving for Europe that it wasn't for me and it was the best decision I ever made.

Throughout fall of my sophomore year, studying abroad was all we could talk about. And while many dreamed of their top cities and universities across the world, I couldn't tell you one place that sparked my interest. But I knew I wanted to be abroad. I went into January of sophomore year with everyone talking about where they had applied and I went to the study abroad office trying to figure out where I could go with my grades and required courses for my majors. I picked two cities and went from there. I got a little bit excited writing about my top choice because it seemed so glamorous, but there was still a little bit of anxiety.

I got into a program in Belgium and was excited to have a "place," but still wasn't feeling that magical feeling that all of my friends were feeling when getting their acceptance letters. I had issues with acceptance into that host school and it somewhat seemed like it was being forced. But I kept on going with the program.

I left the University of Richmond campus in April, mostly sad that I wouldn't be back there until January. But I had a summer in New York City that I was excited for and had to think about first.

My summer was the time of my life. NYC is my new favorite city and it was an amazing time exploring and truly taking in this incredible place. I found it difficult to think about leaving, let alone going to a completely new city that I knew nothing about.

The last month of being in NYC, more and more anxiety crept over me. I am naturally an anxious person and everything stresses me out. But I had figured out NYC, so surely I could figure out a city in Europe, right? And all my friends were going to be in Europe, so I had to stick with it. I was tired of feeling like I only stayed in my comfort zone and I needed to keep pushing through.

But two weeks before I was supposed to fly across the world, I still could not get excited about being there. Nothing in my body really pushed me to want to study abroad except for the fact that it was a norm and that everyone else I knew was doing it and could get past their anxieties.

I flew home to Kentucky and sat down with my parents. The same day that I got home from New York City and one week before I was supposed to fly to Belgium, I decided to not go abroad.

And everything was fine.

In fact, it was much more fine than it had ever been. Suddenly, the stress of trying to figure out how to move to Europe for a semester vanished. I started thinking about being back at Richmond and getting more excited.

And this past semester, I have followed all of my friends abroad on social media, and honestly, no part of me wishes I were there. I know I made the right decision-- but not the right decision in general, the right decision for ME.

I have nothing AT ALL against abroad. I am so excited for all of my friends to return and to hear their stories. I'm so happy for them in having the best times of their lives. But for me, I had to make that decision for what was best for myself. Spending a semester in a city with zero people I know, speaking a language I know zero of, with zero money, and possibly getting credit for zero classes? Probably not the best for me. Add a dose of hella anxiety and medicated depression on top of that? I'm out of there.

Part of me wishes I hadn't taken so long to decide I wasn't studying abroad. But the other part is incredibly glad that I allowed myself to go through the whole process, understand what it was all about, and still know myself well enough to realize it wasn't for me.

I spent my semester taking advantage of things I might not have been able to if I were gone. I got incredibly close with some amazing friends, took on leadership roles, explored Richmond, learned more about who I am, and made some amazing memories.

Going abroad might be for me later in life, but for now, it wasn't in the cards. I learned that it's crucial to think about what is best for you and totally disregard what other people are doing or say you should do. Make the most out of the situation you choose to be in and go conquer what you want. Always be sure that you're sticking to your gut and thinking about your mental wellbeing.

Can't wait to see all of you ~cultured~ pals soon. Miss ya.

Btw, here's what we've been up to.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

150 Words For Anyone Who Loves Football Games

Why I love high school football games, even though I don't like football.

399
Dallas News

When most think of high school they think of friend drama, parties, getting your drivers license, and best of all foot ball games.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics

10 Greatest Speeches In Modern American History

The United States is a relatively infantile nation, but its legacy of spoken rhetoric is one of the richest in the world.

2576
flickr

Rhetoric, in all its forms, arrives under the scrutiny of historians both for its historical impact and literary value. Dozens of speeches have either rallied the nation together or driven it drastically apart –– the impact of speeches in politics, social movements, and wars is undeniable.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics

What If The U.N. Actually United The Nations?

This is me taking a break from being cynical and imagining how the world could be one day.

3765
Unsplash

By now, people are probably sick of hearing me talk about myself, so I’m changing it up this week. In keeping with the subject of my J-Term class, I’m asking myself a political what-if question. What if we could create a sovereign global government firmly grounded in justice that could actually adjudicate Earth’s many disparate nation-states into one unified world government?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

100 Things I'd Rather Do Than Study

Procrastination Nation, unite.

4255
Panda Whale
Here are 100 things I'd rather to than study. I know the semester just started, but

    1. Watch a movie
    2. Take a nap
    3. Have a dance party
    4. Eat ice cream
    5. Bake a cake
    6. Cry just a little bit
    7. Knit a blanket
    8. Learn to ride a bike
    9. Build a crib
    10. Watch a hockey game
    11. Watch any game
    12. Play with my hair
    13. Dye my hair
    14. Go grocery shopping
    15. Learn to crochet
    16. Do 50 jumping jacks
    17. Drive cross country
    18. Take a bubble bath
    19. Squeeze lemons for lemonade
    20. Sell the lemonade
    21. Make heart-shaped ice cubes
    22. Moisturize my knees
    23. Paint my nails
    24. Find the cure for cancer
    25. Run a marathon
    26. Just kidding, run down the hall
    27. Squat my bodyweight
    28. Eat my bodyweight in French fries
    29. Hibernate until Christmas
    30. Cuddle my body pillow (unless you have a boo)
    31. Think about all the work I’m not doing
    32. Wash my bed sheets
    33. Vacuum my apartment
    34. Play mini golf
    35. Go swimming
    36. Tan in this Texas heat
    37. Sing like I’m about to win American Idol
    38. Blow up balloons
    39. Pop the balloons
    40. Make lists
    41. Write an Odyssey article
    42. Pet a puppy
    43. Adopt a puppy
    44. Pay my rent
    45. Order a pizza
    46. Start a garden
    47. Cook a turkey
    48. Find new music
    49. Clean my waffle iron
    50. Learn to make jam
    51. Jam to music
    52. Play scrabble
    53. Volunteer anywhere
    54. Celebrate a birthday
    55. Watch a makeup tutorial I’ll never use
    56. Go through old pictures on my phone
    57. Make a playlist
    58. Take a shower
    59. Clean my room
    60. Curl my hair
    61. Climb a rock wall
    62. Get a massage
    63. Play with Snapchat filters
    64. Roast a chicken
    65. Go fishing
    66. Chug some Snapple
    67. Ride in a cart around Walmart
    68. Count the days until the semester is over
    69. Overthink about my future
    70. Think of my future baby’s names
    71. Pin everything on Pinterest
    72. Text anybody
    73. Pray about life
    74. Watch a sunset
    75. Watch a sunrise
    76. Have a picnic
    77. Read a book (that’s not for school)
    78. Go to a bakery
    79. Snuggle a bunny
    80. Clean my apartment
    81. Wash my dishes
    82. Rearrange my furniture
    83. Physically run away from my problems
    84. Make some meatballs
    85. Learn to make bread
    86. Google myself
    87. Ride a Ferris wheel
    88. Get stuck on a Ferris wheel (that way, it’s not my fault I’m not studying)
    89. Wash my car
    90. Get on a plane to Neverland
    91. Find Narnia in my closet
    92. Jump on a trampoline
    93. Learn to ice skate
    94. Go rollerblading
    95. Ride a rollercoaster
    96. Carve a pumpkin
    97. Restore water in a third world country
    98. FaceTime my family
    99. Hug my mom
    100. Tell my friends I love them
    Featured

    The Basics Of The United Nations

    As the General Assembly convenes, here is the United Nations 101

    3069
    WikiMedia

    For an organization that literally unites the nations, it amazes me how little is taught about the United Nations in schools, or at least where I went to school. It wasn't until I went to college and got a higher education that I learned the basics of the United Nations. I believe that every American should know at least the basics of what the United Nations does, especially since our country is one of the 5 permanent members. So here are the main "organs" of the United Nations.

    Keep Reading... Show less

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Facebook Comments