Often, humans create comfort zones for themselves and proceed to trap themselves in those areas of familiarity. I like to think that I stand out from the crowd in that respect in the way that I do not have one particular comfort zone that I cannot escape. This is, however, untrue. What is true is that I tend to seek out peaceful areas wherever I am; to these I rush each time I become overwhelmed by the many trials and tribulations inherent to life anywhere, an state of mind that comes upon me often.
My fear is finding myself unable to find these places in a completely foreign place when I study abroad. Surrounded by unfamiliar people speaking “gibberish” (because even if I had studied the language beforehand, at first I would most likely be unable to understand half of the conversations around me), I have a feeling I would become very reclusive very quickly. Although I have an extroverted personality, I may end up in my room most of the time unless I make a concerted effort to go out and explore. In this way, I hope I can find peaceful havens but also learn to only make use of them when I am at my wit’s end!
Another prominent worry is certainly money. Especially in Western Europe, experiences require cash, and usually a lot of it. Even with a stipend, it will be difficult to ignore the temptation to sample every restaurant, shop in every store, visit every museum and castle, and take trains to every surrounding country to visit. I suppose budgeting will lessen this problem: I will simply have to weigh the pros and cons of experiencing enough and not coming back to Norman with an empty wallet.
More than anything, I am excited and anticipatory for whichever study abroad experience I decide to partake in. Certainly, I have worries and doubts, but with proper planning on my part and advice from those who have been in my shoes, I will successfully navigate my journey abroad.