Preparing for Harlaxton
by Ariel Nothern
After anxiously anticipating my arrival in England for the past 6 months or so, the day is finally drawing near. There’s so much to think about-what to pack, how much to pack, what trips to sign up for, and the kicker-how in the heck am I going to fit 4 months of my life into 50 pounds! As stressed as I feel, I feel even more excited! I have never been out of the United States and I cannot wait to experience another culture. Now that August 25th, is creeping upon me, preparation is key.
I have spent the past 3 months living at home, working 3 jobs, saving all my money for the trip. Living at home has saved me a lot of expenses since I don’t have to pay rent and utilities and has allowed me to save all my money from my pay checks, besides gas for my car and sometimes that occasional shirt that I just “have to have” (only if it’s on clearance, of course). Sure, I would have loved to stay in my college town with my friends and have a social life, but I have to be logical and save all my money that I can where I can. I know that my experience at Harlaxton will make this summer more than worth it, and every time I am assigned a job that I’d rather not do or I find myself wishing I was hanging poolside with my friends, I just remind myself of my trip to England.
Preparing for Harlaxton is a lot different than preparing for my regular school year here in the United States. I don’t have to pack a microwave and T.V. or bedding or any of that, but I do have to prepare in other ways. First off, making sure I have the right clothing for the different weather conditions and making sure I have all my paperwork, such as my passport and letter of intent ready to go (and in a place where I can find it when it’s time to leave). There’s also the fact that I will have to make sure I have my flight plans all figured out. It’s a little different than driving my PT Cruiser a whopping 2 and half hours east on I70. And of course, there is the money factor. Don’t get me wrong, I worry about money and my expenses for my college here in the US, but I always have my parents close by if anything unexpected does occur. So making sure I have at least $3500 in my checking account is also a major difference.
I have yet to even board my plane to cross the Atlantic and already this experience has helped me. It has caused me to make responsible decisions so that I can actually reach my goal and get there. I find myself counting down the days until I get to meet everyone and start on this new adventure and another chapter of my life!