COLUMN

Every time I toured prospective college campuses as a junior and senior in high school, the tour included information about the college’s study abroad programs.

This part of the tour always excited my somewhat adventurous personality. Even before I knew I would attend Penn State, I always knew I wanted to study abroad during my college experience.

I started planning the trip my sophomore year and was torn between whether I should go in the fall or spring of junior year, what type of program I wanted to do and also which city I wanted to visit.

This was the hardest part of the whole process for me because I am very indecisive, and there are such amazing opportunities available in each city I was interested in.

At the end of a very long process of extreme indecision, I decided to study abroad Spring 2020 in London. I have always had a large interest in British culture, and I want to be able to take advantage of being in a massive international city.

I was required to commit to studying abroad in October of this past fall, and suddenly, as the deadline grew closer, I did not want to go anymore. I became scared, upset and sad to leave Penn State and had no desire to get on a plane and be forced to make new friends.

I was honestly very scared that I didn’t even want to go abroad. I thought, “What was wrong with me? I had planned to do this all along and now why do I suddenly not feel compelled to go?”

I made up my mind that I was not going. I told my parents and talked to my advisers.

But when I went to hit the decline button on the application, I simply could not bring myself to do it. After hovering over the decline button, I knew that if I decided not to go abroad I would probably regret it for the rest of my life. I was just being scared.

I realize now the reason I did not want to go was because of how much I love Penn State. I enjoy my classes and professors, have the best friends in the world and am genuinely happy all the time at school. (Maybe except for finals week — that is never fun.)

When I realized this, I knew I really did want to go abroad and that I could not stop myself from experiencing something new.

In the end, I decided to go for new adventure, to learn, to meet people from around the world, to better myself and to maybe learn a little more about what is really important in life.

I am excited to study in London and share my journey abroad.

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