It’s Time to Take Off

This post is from our official student blogger, Sarah Hasselberger. Sarah is a Senior from Wagner College studying in Dublin, Ireland.

Today is the day! Months of preparation have led up to this moment: it is time to leave for study abroad. My bags are packed (and overweight, sorry for the fee, mom) and I am ready to go! I have spent hours scrutinizing my wardrobe, printing and copying various documents and paperwork, and crossing task after task off of my to-do list. Everything is complete, but there’s just one more thing I have to do: say goodbye.

14203335_10209358608820787_9135643381776354233_nI grew up in Newtown, Connecticut with my parents and two younger brothers. We’ve always been close. So when I left for college, it was hard, and oh it was emotional, but the three-hour commute from Connecticut to Staten Island, New York, was a comfort. If I needed to go home, I could. If my parents wanted to come and visit me, it was super easy for them. That commute became a security blanket for me, which came in handy when I experienced a severe wave of homesickness the second week of my freshman year.

But now my commute has transformed from a few hours on the highway to a transatlantic airplane ride. That security blanket has been stripped away, and it’s time to gain some independence.

I am super close to my family and the idea of studying abroad felt like an impossibility. It was something I doubted for years. (Hence why I am a first-semester senior, right around the corner from graduation, and heading off to Ireland.) It wasn’t until a short spring break trip to Italy for a history course that I realized that I needed to go abroad. I needed to experience something different than my small, wonderful, liberal arts college. It was time to spread my wings and go.

So here I sit, in front of my laptop, bags packed in the corner of my room. In a few short hours, I will be leaving my home in Connecticut to drive to the airport, where I’ll spend a few more short hours going through security and waiting for my plane. I’ll eventually be seated in an Aer Lingus aircraft, and I’ll be arriving on a different continent tomorrow morning, and sleeping in a bed in Dublin tomorrow night.screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-44-11-am

I am not going to pretend that I’m not scared. I’m terrified. I’m nervous. I feel as if I am about to get on the tallest, fastest rollercoaster of my life. But at the same time, my heart feels a twinge of excitement and happiness. It’s like the feeling right before you go on a first date. There’s so much anxiety building in your stomach, but you are so excited that you can’t possibly wait another second. Maybe I am in denial, but I don’t feel too emotional about leaving my family. After the excitement passes, I think the homesickness will set in. But for now, I am trying to remain positive, and keep my family smiling. Because if my mom bursts into tears I might lose it.

My main takeaway from this crazy build up of emotions is that life is too short not to experience the world. Don’t let anything hold you back from what you want. Let yourself feel all of the feels: the anxiety, the excitement, the nervousness. Soak it all up because it’ll be over in a blink of an eye.

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