The Good Old Days

While I’m definitely reiterating what most others have said, I cannot believe I’m leaving tomorrow. Surprisingly, it still doesn’t feel quite real and it still hasn’t settled completely in my mind. As I’ve never been out of the country before, I have no idea what to expect and I don’t think the magnitude of this experience will truly hit until I’m boarded on my plane tomorrow afternoon.

Toward the end of winter break, my family was all at work and I was sitting in my bedroom, home alone, causally on my phone when Dr. Zoranna Jones messaged me, urging for me to check for an “important” email. As she’s the head of my scholarship, about a million other thoughts on what this message could be went through my mind. The last thing I expected was to click a link and be directed to a video of a man I didn’t recognize in a Santa Clause costume. A sure expression of confusion quickly turned to a smile as I heard the words that I would be going on CR11. I didn’t know how to react because I was sitting in my bedroom, home alone, and when Dr. Pitcock asked us to send a reaction video I thought to myself, “whelp, I hope he doesn’t put these in a future video because mine is definitely going to be the least exciting”. But nonetheless, I texted him a video with the front camera of my iPhone saying nobody was there to celebrate with me at the moment but I was incredibly excited to be going on this experience. And from that moment, despite exams, my family moving, and five finals, CR11 has always been in the back of my mind, reminding me of something so exciting to look forward to.

And here we are. Twenty-four hours from this moment I’ll be on an airplane, the furthest from home I’d ever been. As I look forward, there are so many things I’d like to get out of this experience. I’ve lived in the same town my entire life, and while I’ve traveled to other states in my life, I’ve never experienced something like traveling three other countries for a month. I’d like to take this opportunity to enjoy learning, not for the sake of an exam grade or a GPA point, but for the sole purpose of soaking up knowledge because I want to. I hope to see beautiful sights, landscapes, and buildings that I never thought I’d see, and I hope to capture some of these memories in photos. I hope to meet people from these countries, seeing life from their perspective, a perspective so different and unique from mine. I’d like to develop newfound and deeper friendships with the people I’m going on this experience with, and I’ll try my best not to blink.

I think someone mentioned this quote at a CR meeting, but as Andy Bernard said in the Office, ” I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” I know I’m in the good old days. I’ll look back at this next month the rest of my life and I don’t plan on taking this for granted! Okay, I should probably start packing now.

See you soon, Germany!

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