Facing your fears through study abroad

By Laura Hickey, API Dublin student

Laura is a student at Lesley University and is currently studying with API at University College Dublin (UCD).

A few weeks ago API Ireland took the students on an amazing excursion to Paris for the weekend. API covered all the flight and hotel expenses. The one unfortunate thing about the trip was that most of the weekend it was pouring rain out. Though I had dreamt of going to Paris my whole life and was so excited to see it and was not going to let the rain ruin my trip. The last day of the excursion I went over to see the Eifel Tower with my API resident director and another API student. I was so excited to climb up the Eifel Tower and enjoy it, though as we were on the line and I was staring at that gorgeous structure something came to me, I am completely afraid of heights.

As the line was moving I kept thinking “Do I really want to do this sure the view is great but why leave my safety blanket on the ground” As I finally started walking up the leg of the tour I could completely get how high I was, the views were amazing but I was very anxious. My resident director Julia practically had to help me up the stairs. When I finally got to get up to the top the view was incredible! I could really tell that I was in Paris. Although I had to leave my safety net and do something that made me really anxious it was so worth it!

The anxiety that I felt about climbing the Eifel Tower paralleled with my fear of studying abroad in a way. A lot during the summer going into my junior year I was debating weather or not I should do a semester abroad, all though I wanted to travel the world so much I kept thinking about how scary it would be to leave my safety blanket. I think it’s scary for anyone to leave this comfort zone, but usually leaving a comfort zone for new experiences but be so worth it no matter how scary it is!

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  1. Jennifer Flescher says

    This is terrific, Laura — great writing and great to see you doing so well! I love the way you talk about the parallel fears. Great job.

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