By: Sarah Ganton, Capilano University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship
Study Abroad Destination: Innsbruck, Austria
It is one week before my plane departs for Europe and yet the reality of it all has not hit me. I am one of those people that tends to procrastinate everything. I have done some organization for my trip but I have been procrastinating packing. Not only that but I also tend to be the type of person that avoids dealing with their emotions, if it’s possible. So that means that all the emotions of going away haven’t really hit me yet. I only just started to feel anxious, with that tightness in my chest the other day. I know this feeling will only grow in the days leading up to my flight.
This move to Austria for school is a big life change for me. I am 23 years old and the longest I have been away from home is two and a half weeks at the most. This trip will be a huge adjustment for me because I will be staying in Europe for another month and a half after the month of studying in Austria. I think there is only so much that I can do to prepare for this big life change. Personally, my trick to dealing with big changes like this one is being open to the experience. For my past long trips with my friends, I have always kept my expectations low and been open to the new experiences. I find that doing that is important because if you try to create the perfect trip you will only be let down. Having low expectations helps when you end up having to deal with unexpected changes.
I think I am most nervous to be away from everything that is familiar to me. I will be away from my routine at home and my job, which I would normally be at 4 days a week. I will also be away from my family and my friends. With that being said, I am also excited to meet new people and experience new things. I am someone that enjoys creating memories and trying new things so I am going to focus on my excitement rather than what makes me nervous.
Perhaps this is me avoiding my emotions as usual but I guess I will see how long this works for me.