This post is from our official student blogger, Sarah Al-Arshani. Sarah is from the University of Connecticut, and is a Communications and Journalism Major studying in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
As all my friends head back to school, I can’t help but fix my attention on my departure date. When I was first approved for the study abroad program in Dubrovnik, I was nothing but excited – no anxiety or worry about what it would be like. It seemed too perfect. See, as time passes and I run out of coffee shops to explore, I can’t help but spend my time wondering what this experience will actually be like for me.
Will I get along with my roommates? Will I adapt to the culture? And no matter how many delicious pictures of Croatian cuisine I look up, I am nervous about the possibility of not liking the food, which I know is impossible, considering how much of a foodie I am.
To be honest, as February 2 comes closer, I find myself trying to look at the experience more broadly. Once all the applications and logistics are done, it’s easier to focus on the actual trip itself. I chose to go abroad to get myself out of my comfort zone. I’m an aspiring journalist and I love getting to know other people’s stories, however, that doesn’t mean I don’t get uncomfortable by my own lack of knowledge.
I wanted to go abroad to shake things up a little. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stresses and usual pace of everyday life that it gets hard to see the bigger picture beyond what’s right in front of you. At the same time, switching things up isn’t exactly easy. It’s a bit stressful because you have to leave things up to chance, and for those of us accustomed to a set schedule and way of life, that’s very challenging.
I don’t think my mind is going to calm down until I finally land in Croatia, but until then I’m going to spend my time thinking about all the amazing things this opportunity might bring me and what I want to make out of it.
If you’re in the same boat as me, where you’re impatiently waiting for your departure date, or debating embarking on your own study abroad journey, just remember that every opportunity is what you make of it. Turn the worrying into something helpful. Doing things that challenge your comfort level won’t be easy, but they’ll help you grow and understand yourself and the infinite world around you.