If you had asked me the first week of my freshmen year I would have told you “Milan, or maybe Paris. Australia is nice too but my favorite is London.” For so long studying abroad seemed like an absolute necessity for me. In my mind, what could be better than an entire semester being immersed in another country?
A year and a half later I found myself eagerly sitting in my first official study abroad advising meeting. Rambling on about how I couldn’t wait to go to London and how much I loved the city, my dreams were quickly crushed as my advisor so condescendingly stated, “unless you have a 4.0, you won’t be going to London anytime soon.”
Coming to terms with my less than ideal freshmen year grades and the competiveness of my program, I began to research other traveling options. However, as junior year approached, I soon began to realize other things were beginning to block my study abroad plans as well. Major requirements, an impending internship and a looming fear of being lost in Europe were suddenly stopping me from going through with my long desired semester abroad.
Eventually, I came to terms with the fact that a semester abroad was not the best option for me at the time. Although I had convinced myself that I could survive without the cultured experience I had once dreamed of, I soon realized I might not be able to survive with the many things that would be changing on campus.
As the final days of winter break began to emerge, I soon realized how different things would be when returning to campus. Two of my best friends and roommates who I had shared everything with from late night study sessions to hung over breakfast rants were suddenly moving halfway across the world. In their place would be two new roommates who were also fulfilling their travel abroad experience but in America.
I guess you could say I was experiencing a classic case of FOMO (fear of missing out). As my two roommates talked about their spring break plans abroad, their wine-tasting and ancient architecture classes and of course their amazing new campuses, I couldn’t help but feel left behind. My usual enthusiastic and anxious attitude towards spring semester was to no surprise lessened by this fear of change.
Syllabus week was customary as usual as my roommates didn’t leave for their respected universities until a week after our classes had begun. Thus our normal routine of attempting to make it out every night due to the light workload was executed as it had been during past semesters. Soon enough though, my roommates boarded their planes and left for their amazing adventures and I continued with going to class and working at my internship.
Weeks passed and I slowly began to adapt to the changes and realize that although they originally seemed catastrophic, they were in fact very much minor adjustments. I began to utilize Skype like no other and made sure I talked to my friends everyday through the very convenient and international friendly app WhatsApp.
While my friends many pictures of course made me envious, I came to realize I had just as much exciting things going on in Boston, Massachusetts. My internship turned out to be an amazing and of course very beneficial experience, my new international roommates had quickly become some of my good friends and my roommates and I have sure enough managed to keep up the weekend adventures.
The truth of the matter is there is bound to be numerous opportunities presented to a person in their lifetime. Some of them you take and some of them you don’t. Studying abroad is only one of those many opportunities. While I may have passed up that chance, I consider myself pretty fortunate to take part in another opportunity: the opportunity to study right here in Boston at what is in my opinion, a pretty good university to spend four short years at.