Just a hop across the pond

Your summer: Sitting by a pool, getting paid to tan and watch little children frolic.

My summer: Oh me? I’m, umm, studying abroad in London. Yah, no big deal, I’m an independent woman, just reaching adult hood, at the peak of my life, ready for anything…

As you can tell I am confident and ready to take on London, class, an internship, and every tourist spot in Europe in two short months across the pond. HA.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Monica Hickey. I am a student in the school of Journalism and Mass Communication studying journalism and strategic communication. I will preface this autobiography with the fact that I am a little dorky. I take pride in painfully “punny” jokes and my oh-so-typical Green Bay Packer fervor. This summer I am going on an adventure, leaving behind the green grasses of central Wisconsin for a titillating, non-stop adventure, and of course tea with the Queen. I will be studying in London from the end of May until the end of July. And yes, I do plan to study.

This opportunity excites me in countless of ways, but there are two summarize the rest. First, I get to be an ambassador for the UW (I had a childhood dream of being an ambassador). But in all seriousness I love Wisconsin and I truly believe that it is a top of the line University. The opportunity to share my experiences and explore a new culture sends itches through my nose and shivers down my spine. This trip also presents an opportunity for career growth and résumé experience.

Now that we have been formally introduced, I will be honest with you. I am shaking in my boots. As if the prepping process hasn’t gnawed my nerves, I am also trying to console my dad, who is secretly afraid I will love London so much that I will never come back. On the other hand my mother has demanded daily Skype dates, and can’t wait to experience London for herself— wait what? This summer will be a much anticipated experiment in independence. I couldn’t be more ready or thrilled.

Although I am a little saddened that I won’t be in town for the royal wedding, I know London has a “blog-worth” of exciting experiences, embarrassments, and adventures ready for me to stumble over, laugh over, and survive. Bring it on London.

Before I filled out the application, trudged to the court house for a passport, and bought two (whoops) plane tickets I set out some checkpoints on the adventure map. Here are the gridlines that I hope to follow for my adventure.

1. I’m a shy, wide eyed fool by nature, but I only have 2 months in Europe. My first challenge is to bypass the weeks of “getting a feel for people” and jump into friendships at the beginning. I mean it, no more protective shell here; I plan to allow others to see my vulnerabilities.
2. Visit France. After 7 years of learning the language it would be a shame to be so close and fail to visit. That is if I remember how to speak.”Je m’appelle Monica….”
3. Own the internship experience. I want to network and build professional relationships that will help me grow as I begin to look to the “real” world after graduation.
4. HAVE FUN. I know, I know not usually on a to-do list, but I want to make sure that I don’t get caught up in the work and forget to enjoy. Every. Single. Second.
5. Keep running. A new environment can throw pitchforks into an individual’s lifestyle. I want to continue my training so that I can run the half marathon when I come home in the fall.
6. Represent. I want to do Wisconsin proud. If I am the only experience someone has with a “Sconnie” I want them to say “what a neat, polite girl. Wisconsinites are a bit quirky but harmless,” rather than “what do they put in their milk in Wisconsin?”
7. Do something crazy. No, it is not counter intuitive to number six. I have promised myself to leave the over thinking at the O’Hare airport. The plan is to let my heart guide, rather than my head, for an entire two months of adventure.

Having never been out of the country I have no idea what to expect when I walk off the plane in Heathrow. But I plan to walk off with my eyes wide open and camera ready.

I’m ready to leave today. I’d ask you to come with but I already had the second ticket returned, sorry. Stay tuned for the next episode of my adventure, I promise good pictures, real experiences, and a few laughs.
Stay shiny,