I wanted to see the seven wonders of the world and to learn about the history present everywhere in Europe. Their culture, food, daily life, entertainment, everything. I wanted to know more about all of it. The more Disney movies I saw growing up the more places I wanted to go. Hercules in Athens. Mulan in Japan. Belle in France. Watching these movies created a tug within to just get up and go. Those moments kindled my desire to go travel around the world.
This desire had fallen quite a bit when I realized the expenses that need to be taken into consideration when traveling internationally.
I learned as a freshman in high school that traveling in college means one thing: study abroad.
Knowing this information made me a thousand times more excited for college. I kept dreaming of myself in Europe or Australia, walking around the city, trying to learn everything that it could teach me. I began to watch movies or read books with a new mentality, thinking to myself, “I might be there in a few years.”
And then senior year came with college applications alongside it. I looked at the study abroad programs for each of the schools that I considered. I wanted to make sure that the universities offered programs that interested me and that suited me and my English major.
I started to hear back from universities with their acceptances or rejections. Syracuse University had not only accepted me into their institution, but they also accepted me into their first-semester study abroad program. I felt this exhilaration flow through me when I realized that I could be going to Florence, Italy for my first semester in college.
Doubts started to creep into my head after the euphoric feelings had subsided. I wouldn’t just leave my home, I would also leave the country, leaving my family far behind. Maybe a little too far. For someone who hadn’t traveled far from their family for more than a week, I started to question myself.
Could I really stay that far from them? What would I do if something happened to my family?
I realized that I had four years to study abroad, so I had no need to rush it. I accepted my place among the class of 2021 in Boston College. I again started to feel this excitement bubble up within me at the prospect of studying abroad in my junior year.
Now, as a sophomore, I have begun looking at my prospects for studying abroad. I constantly went back and forth in my head.
To study abroad or to not study abroad?
I’ve talked to my mom about this because of all the expenses that come into play during this process. We discuss how I would make it work if I do end up applying. It’s a lot of money. There’s flight, food, tuition, etc. It all begins to add up.
People have told me that they would prefer that I don’t study abroad, claiming that I’ll end up alone. However, I still have this “what if” in my head that just will not let up. People say that my time will come, that I can travel later on in my life, when I can truly indulge in the cities that I’ll visit and when I’ll have the money to do all the activities that I want to do.
I know myself. If I went to study abroad, I would only go to my class and back, with the very rare dinner out in the city. I wouldn’t go out past a certain time for fear that something might happen. As someone very shy, paranoid, and indecisive, this decision has proved extremely difficult for me.
While confusion currently clouds my mind, I continue to debate whether I should travel as soon as possible or if I should keep putting it off for the future. After all, we don’t know how much time we have left.