When everything goes wrong, keep right.

Many college students have the feeling that “nothing has changed” when coming home for the holidays. You may notice the new sign at the train station, or that your bathroom has new shower curtain, but all in all, spending the night in your high school friend’s basement reminiscing on all the memories you’ve shared together makes you feel like you are still 17. The odd mixture of home-town nostalgia and tangible signs of how much you have grown since you permanently lived there can be overwhelming, and I know I sometimes suppress those feelings because I am scared to admit how much has actually changed. Since I will be in Rome for the semester, and leave January 3, I had to face these feelings head on. Pretty soon, my life will be constantly changing. Instead of initially resisting like I always do, I am going to steer into the skid and try and go along for the ride.

To begin with all of the things that have gone wrong so far in 2019, I will start with the Amazon Prime debacle. Now, I know everyone reading has had his or her own personal challenges with online stores. The confusing phone calls. The dead end information. How somehow your package ceased to exist then ends up at your door within 48 hours. But, in this particular situation, I was the one at fault. I had accidentally shipped this awesome Osprey Travel Pack (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06X9138X8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

to my apartment at school instead of my home in Chicago. So, after countless texts to my landlord we had finally worked out that I would pick it up in Madison at 12:15am Jan 1, from the night guard because the office was closed for the rest of the week for the holiday and only he had the keys needed to get in. I had spent my first 30 minutes of 2019 scouring everywhere, but the package was nowhere in sight. ‘Okay’, I thought. Sweating from head-to-toe, heavily breathing as the night guard looks at me with confused, disdained, pity. ‘Minor bump in the road.’ I reasoned that I could use my school backpack on the way there, get a refund from Amazon and just have it shipped to my house. Disaster averted (after a phone call to my mom and dad freaking out). It made me think that whatever I had or did not have actually didn’t matter as much as I thought it did. Here I was almost having a panic attack over something that was currently completely out of my control, because it wasn’t just about the backpack. It was about how I didn’t feel prepared to make the change. To take the jump.

A lot of things can be replaced. Something that you’ll never get back is time. And, I am blessed enough to be able to spend four and a half months in a completely new environment that will force me to embrace change. If I have already learned this much about myself before even stepping into Rome, I am excited to see what else is ahead.

Ciao!

-Abby