Monday, May 9, 2016

To Go or Not To Go

I got my acceptance to the study abroad in Italy while I was sitting in the Gordon's dining hall stuffing my face. I had again taken the self protection form of trying to forget everything about going to Italy. I checked my email and there it was; the acceptance letter. You would think that I started crying because of joy, but that's just what I told everyone afterwards. I called my mom to tell her the news and she seemed to know that I was on the verge of another panic attack. This whole journey seemed to be just me pushing myself to do something I knew that I wanted to do but that my body was telling me I very much didn't want. Then again something as simple as driving myself to the mall could make me panic so I ignored what my body was telling me because...well, it obviously doesn't know what's good for it. A week after my acceptance I had to pay the acceptance fee for going. You know when you get an acceptance to a college and you have to pay 20 dollars to accept the fact that you were accepted? That's the same as this thing only it was 300 dollars! The only way I could pay it was by taking it out of my savings; which was more than half of what I had saved. I did it though because it was still my dream to go even though it was also my worst nightmare at the same time. Then about a week after that I got an email saying that we could start buying our plane tickets. "plane tickets?", I thought. "But I haven't gotten my financial aid yet!" Believe it or not they expected me to just have 1500 dollars just lying around; which might have been do-able for everyone else except for me. I'm broke! I've always been broke! I started to think that I would have to drop out of the program. Instead I decided to apply for another credit card. This credit cards limit was exactly 1500 dollars so I couldn't buy a ticket for any more than that. Turns out that I get a discount when buying plane tickets because I'm a student. What's really crazy is that the major reasons why I questioned whether I should or shouldn't go was all because of the school thinking I had more money than I did...not that I wasn't used to that by now. Or at least, I should be used to it by now.


I remember sitting waiting for class to begin after handing in my application. The teacher came in and said; "It is the day after applications are due. However, we do accept some late submissions and just to let you know we accept almost everyone who applies". My jaw dropped. I realized then that a small part of me kind of hoped that I wouldn't be accepted. I'm not someone who does these kinds of things. I'm not the world traveler, though I've always wanted to travel. I'm not someone who is good with the kind of pressure all of this puts on me. This kind of stuff puts me in a panic...and I mean that literally because I am someone that has panic attacks. Because it's not just travel, it's everything that has to do with travel... Money, food, money, calling, money, homework, money, doing laundry, and every little thing that could be on someone's list of "oh-well-I'll-figure-it-out-later". These would include: how will I do my laundry, will there be a fridge and microwave in the hotel room, will I have to deal with my feminine monthly problems, do they even sell the same kind of pads abroad? Everything that are just simply questions for someone else are stressors for me....and it can make my life a living hell. So when she said "almost everyone is accepted" I panicked. Again I mean that quite literally. I spent the rest of class thinking only of that fact and then after class I had a really bad panic attack where I was hyperventilating and thinking I was going to die.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Very First Step

I sat down in my first class of the semester waiting for the teacher to start talking. I was actually really upset because I had gotten an email from the financial aid office about an event to learn about my options for studying abroad as a student with below average money and I wasn't able to go because of the first class of the semester. I had always wanted to travel, one of my bucket list things. Last year I had looked at semester abroad opportunities in Paris but with everything happening in Paris I'm glad that idea didn't last. In fact, spending a whole semester abroad and away from home was daunting. I figured if I was going to study abroad I should start out small. The teacher started class with an announcement about a study abroad opportunity saying "It's three weeks long and in Italy. We'll be visiting ancient archaeological greek sites". My jaw dropped! Here I was hoping for a study abroad trip that would be perfect for me and it suddenly falls in my lap. That week all I could think about was the trip and whether or not I, a broke girl from the boon-docks, even deserved something like this to happen to me. I decided, with much convincing from my parents, to let them decide whether or not I deserved it. I spent the next week agonizing over essay questions for the application abroad. The day before the essays were due I scraped everything I had worked on, wrote whole new essays feverishly, and sent it in. It probably wasn't the best idea to hand in last minute essays for something that big but I couldn't, in good conscience, hand in the crap I had been working on. I handed in the application thinking that I had done my best and if it didn't work out then....well I already knew I would be crushed if it didn't but I was telling myself that it wouldn't matter.