T minus 2 days. 2 Days until Ireland becomes my new home. For some reason, that still hasn’t totally sunk in. Shouldn’t I be nervous by now? I feel like I should be nervous. I mean I have prepared myself to be, based on all I have read and heard about on pre-departure emotions…but I’m not. I’m excited, hopeful, ready, a little bit anxious, but no…not nervous. I’m sure come Wednesday when I’m about to board that plane all those unaccounted for nerves might suddenly hit, but as of now I truly am ready and willing to embark on this Irish escapade.
Aside from all of the other more obvious (and incredible) opportunities that the study abroad experience has to offer and that I have already touched on, I feel like this journey is giving me another priceless yet under-the-radar opportunity. Starting this semester as a new student at NUIG, it’s as though I am able to travel back in time and become a freshman in college again. I feel as if this “new beginning” is giving me the chance to start fresh, discover new interests and curiosities, meet new people and be whoever I want to be…no strings attached. Don’t get me wrong; I am incredibly thankful, proud and happy with my experience at UW-Madison thus far. But the real world is quickly approaching, and each day at Madison reminds me of that. In Ireland I am able to escape, just for 5 months, the pressures and expectations that come with being an undergraduate, upperclassmen Madison-student and simply enjoy all that the college experience (and a different one at that) has to offer again.
As the New Year kicks off so does this new adventure of mine, and the phrase “New Year, New Me” is about to take on a whole new meaning. I welcome it with open arms and can’t wait to see what is in store for me. Excited? Yes. Nervous? No.