Thought on studying abroad

18 Very Real And Somewhat Horrifying Thoughts You Have Before Going Abroad

The thoughts you have after the 'it's a once in a lifetime experience'.

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Studying abroad is such an amazing opportunity and if you ever have the chance to pursue it, don't hesitate. It really is a once in a lifetime experience that you shouldn't pass up while in college. Even though it is amazing for so many reasons, there are also so many crazy thoughts that run through your head on a daily basis as your departure date nears. Here is my personal list of wild thoughts that frighten and excite me every day about going abroad.

1. How am I supposed to fit my entire life into a suitcase?

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You're telling me I need to survive off of only one suitcase of my belongings for five months? Where do I begin on stuffing three seasons worth of clothes, shoes, accessories, toiletries and mementos into one bag?

2. The classic 'Taken' scene

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Liam Neeson is not my father, so looks like I'm done for.

3. What if I meet the love of my life in some random foreign country and we never see each other again?

The. Most. Tragic. Love. Story. Ever.

4. What happens if I don't understand the language?

I fail and that's the end of it? Hop on the next plane back to the states and accept endless confusion and defeat?

5. What if I am completely out of style?

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They say Europe is like three years ahead in fashion. Is my classic cardigan and ripped jeans look not in anymore?

6. Will they ever stop making fun of my clear American accent?

Already prepared to be made fun of in a foreign language every day of my life.

7. *Imagines myself overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, sipping out of a champagne glass in silk pajamas on a balcony*

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Yeah, I wish.

8. Who am I going to miss most?

Will it be my mom? Dad? The cute boy who sits next to me in class that I've never talked to? I just don't know.

9. What if I hate ALL of the food and they don't have cheeseburgers?

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Accepting the fact that I may be starving myself for five months.

10. Will I even want to come back home?

Maybe I'll fall in love with the culture and never come home and live out my life in a foreign country by myself.

11. Who is going to take care of me when I get sick?

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My mom isn't going to fly across the world to make me homemade chicken noodle soup and my roommates aren't going to be there to give me medicine every four hours.

12. Will I be different when I come back?

Will people be able to tell how much more travelled and cultured I am when I come back home?

13. I wonder how many countries I can explore before I run out of time and money 

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I pretty much want to see every inch of Europe, so we'll see how far I can get.

14. Is anyone going to miss me?

Will my friends and family even notice that I'm half way across the world?

15. How will I leave all the incredible people I meet abroad after five months?

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I already think coming back home will be just as emotional as leaving home. I am not ready for either experience.

Is it too late to withdraw? 

I am freaking out. Stress. Finals. Foreign language. Alone in a foreign country. Ahhhhh.

17. Five months is soooooooo long 

I have to be away from home and all my family and friends for five whole months. How am I going to survive?

18. Five months is NOT long enough to be abroad

Who can accomplish all their personal goals, travel plans and become better at a foreign language in only five months?

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I Don't Care How Hard Your Major Is, There Is No Excuse Not To Have A Job While In College

If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.

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We seem to live in a generation where everyone wants to go to college.

It is nice to see that people want to invest in their education, but at what expense? It's easy to commit to a school, and it is even easier to get yourself and your parents into thousands of dollars of debt because you're "living your best life."

To me, it's pathetic if you're over the age of eighteen and you don't have some sort of income or responsibilities outside of homework and attendance. The old excuse, "I want to focus on school," is no longer valid. You can get all A's while having a job, and that has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather your will to succeed. "I don't have time for a job/internship," translates to, "I'm really lazy,".

You don't need to overextend yourself and work forty hours a week, but you should at least work summers or weekends. Any job is a good job. Whether you babysit, walk dogs, work retail, serve tables or have an internship. You need to do something.

"My major is too hard," is not an excuse either. If you can go out on the weekends, you can work.

The rigor of your major should not determine whether or not you decide to contribute to your education. If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.

Working hard in school does not compensate for having any sense of responsibility.

I understand that not everyone has the same level of time management skills, but if you truly can't work during the school year, you need to be working over the summer and during your breaks. The money you make should not exclusively be for spending; you should be putting it towards books, loans, or housing.

Internships are important too, paid or not.

In my opinion, if you chose not to work for income, you should be working for experience. Your resume includes your degree, but your degree does not include your resume. Experience is important, and internships provide experience. A person working an unpaid internship deserves the same credit as a student working full/part-time.

Though they are not bringing in income for their education, they are gaining experience, and opening up potential opportunities for themselves.

If you go to college just to go to class and do nothing else, then you don't deserve to be there. College is so much more than just turning in assignments, it is a place for mental and academic growth. You need to contribute to your education, whether it is through working for income or working for knowledge or experience.

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An Open Letter To Upcoming College Freshmen, From A Former College Freshman

What I wish I knew before I started college.

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Dear Upcoming College Freshman,

You most likely just finished high school, and are probably looking back at your childhood with wonder, wondering how it passed by so quickly. You also might be looking at the future ahead of you, feeling fear.

How do I know this? I felt the exact same thing a year ago. I didn't know what to expect from college. There weren't that many movies or TV shows that highlighted what college would be like. So, I was terrified. There are certain things I wished someone would've told me about college. Yet, no one told me these things. I had to discover them for myself. Here is what I discovered:

You don't have to be afraid.

You don't need to be scared. I know college can be intimidating, but I promise, it is going to be such a beautiful experience. I discovered that college is an opportunity to grow into one's true self. In college, you will discover your passions, your tribe, and who you want to be in relation to this world.

Be excited!

Turn your fear into excitement. You are about to enter a new chapter in your life, one with many beautiful surprises. Instead of fearing it because of its uncertainties, feel excitement due to its possibilities.

College won't be perfect.

When I came into college, I had the expectation that everything would be perfect, and that I wouldn't struggle. This expectation wasn't realistic, because college is just like life. There will be ups and downs, and sometimes things won't go your own way. But, even when things don't go your own way, know that everything will be okay. You will discover ways to deal with whatever issues surface.

You will learn how to deal with life.

In college, so many issues will come up that you will need to deal with because part of life is dealing with issues that surface. For example, I remember going into college expecting to feel super close to the people around me. During the first semester of my freshman year, I realized how this wasn't the case. I didn't find my best friends during the first few months of college. I remember going home during Winter Break, and asking myself: "What can I do to change this?"

When I came back during my second semester of college, I reached out to more people, became more involved in clubs, and talked to people I wouldn't normally talk to. These active changes in my life helped me find my best friends and make my college experience more enjoyable. Even though things didn't work out as perfectly in the beginning as I hoped, it taught me valuable lessons on how to make friends. In college, things won't be perfect. But, this will teach you how to develop skills to deal with whatever issues come up in life.

Now, you will be going into a new chapter in life. Don't be scared. You are about to embark on one of the most life-changing journeys you'll ever experience. You are going to grow so much. Don't forget to enjoy the ride.

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