Many Pepperdine sophomores such as myself are less than one week from traveling abroad. This year is expected to be the year of our lives, according to abroad alumni.
I have many emotions going into this year of studying abroad. It’ll be an exciting year with new places to visit and new foods to try. However, I am feeling overwhelmingly anxious.
I never expected to feel anxious when I signed up to study abroad. I only expected to be excited, but as the date to leave for Florence gets closer, the more anxiety I feel. The thought of being half-way across the world, and in a completely new environment, is what worries me most.
When I started Pepperdine, it was a bit challenging moving to Malibu from where I grew up in Arkansas. Now, it will be a completely different continent with a new language, and a new culture. The thought of that is overwhelming, and that feeling is isolating.
After talking to some of my friends, it turns out they are also feeling the same way about abroad.
Talking to them helped calm my nerves. They reminded me that everyone going abroad is in a similar boat as me. We are all going to be far away from home and trying to learn the ropes at a new place.
That does not mean abroad is going to be easy. There will be challenges like culture shock and being home sick. Many abroad alumni have said they experienced one or both of those challenges, but they were able to overcome it, and the abroad experience changed who they were as people.
Lindsey Rust, a Lausanne, Switzerland alumna said she experienced both when she went to study abroad.
“My challenges with missing America and the people I love there have already caused me to strengthen my view of other cultures, my faith, and most importantly, my sense of independence,” said Lindsey.
All of that being said, I am ready to start a new journey with Pepperdine. In less than a day, I will be in Florence, Italy, most likely eating my body weight in pasta.
To get pumped for Florence, I used Skiplagged, Raileurope and Skyscanner to look at cheap ways to plan trips. Packing has also helped with getting excited for Florence. As silly as it may seem, packing my clothes and thinking about where I am going to wear them is making me even more ready to study abroad in Italy.
Planning trips and packing have been getting me really excited about the new memories to come and things to experience. The hardest part now is trying to fit all of my clothing in one suitcase.
Follow Hadley Biggs on Twitter: @hadleyyyyyyy