The E-mail That Changed My Life

May 1, 2013

in Academic Year 2013-2014, England, Europe, Stephanie Knab

So there I was procrastinating on some reading by flipping through Facebook, listening to some music, and checking my e-mail. When reading through the subject lines to see which ones were junk mail, I came across a “Congratulations! You’ve been accepted..”. My eyes instantly got wider as I froze, too scared to open it up incase it wasn’t real for some reason. I clicked on it and read it multiple times to make sure it was legit before sending out a mass text to my friends and family with the fantastic news! Everybody instantly replied because they have known how hard I have worked to get in. Finally my days of worrying about what I was going to do if I didn’t get in were over and I couldn’t have been more thrilled—I WAS GOING TO BE LIVING IN LONDON FOR A YEAR!

My name is Stephanie Knab and I am currently a sophomore. I’m studying Communication Arts with emphasis on film, television and radio and possibly a certificate in Digital Media. I’m from Appleton, WI, which is only a few hours north of Madison. I will be documenting about all the getting lost, new slang, new friends, traveling journeys, airport confusions, and such that are inevitably going to happen over my year abroad.

When telling people, I’ve gotten many different responses. Everything from “A whole year?! How are you going to last that long in a different country?!” to “I’m so jealous! Take me with!”. All I can really do when hearing this is shrug and smile. Honestly, I’m not sure how living in a different country for a year is going to be without my family and friends but I’m more than ready to meet new people that will become my London family. I know that I would be jealous if someone were telling me they were going to London for a year, but I just don’t really know how to respond to that. I’ve worked hard and am blessed for this opportunity. My dad couldn’t have been more excited since he has backpacked through Europe several times back in the day and was just waiting for my sister or myself to get an opportunity like that. Also, my step-dad has lived in England for a little while so he had plenty to say about the good restaurants to go, how nice the people are, and what life would be like there. I think my family have prepared well for this adventure, but of course there’s more that I will learn for myself.

Even though I don’t leave for four more months, I can’t stop thinking about how I’m going to even begin to start packing, what I’m going to do first there, all the museums and clubs to go to! I’M SO EXCITED! I don’t think it has really set in that I’m not going to be here next year, but I feel like once the time gets closer I’ll be more and more nervous. I’ve been reminded of all the little logistics that I need to think about, like the different electrical outlets they have, what I’m going to do with my money, the cellphone situation, the conversion rate, getting an Oyster card, etc. For some reason these haven’t even entered my mind in things to think about when going abroad. All I can seem to think about is wandering around the city, meeting new people, and traveling to other parts of Europe. So lesson one of this journey: think about the little details.

In all, this is going to be an experience of a lifetime. I’m going to have bad days and good days, but it’s all part of learning to live somewhere else on my own and going outside of my comfort zone. As the Red Bull commercials says (poetic, I know), “I think it’s human nature to want to explore. Find your line and go beyond it”. I’ve found my line here in Madison, WI and now I’m ready to go beyond it in London.


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