Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Introducing Brennan Girdler

Grantham, Indiana
by Brennan Girdler

I almost forgot to pack laundry quarters. Oh, wait…

I’ve had way too much time to pretend to know what I’m getting myself into. Studying abroad — sounds easy, right?

Well, at least the studying part does. I’ve been doing alright with that for a while now. But abroad, alone in a whole new world, what can I expect? What about food? Do they eat food? How many pounds in a quarter of an ounce? Do I sleep in pajamas or pyjamas? Do I cry for mummy or mommy? Am I a titbit or tidbit nervous…

Regardless, my outstanding American ignorance will prove itself worthy yet again as I depart from my native land and begin my first semester more than a state away from home.

Honestly though, what I’m most hesitant about is the travel, the whole abroad factor. But as I think about it, how different can it be, Indiana vs. Grantham?

I’ve signed up for a couple of school trips, mostly ones in England, and I plan on doing plenty of on-my-one adventuring, yet unsure about navigating foreign lands. Like what do I do if a bus ticket is only in German? Will my two years of Spanish cut it? Do I kiss the cheek of everyone I meet in France? Or just the pretty ones…?

Coming to terms with flying to England was pretty easy. I have all my papers, contact info, and what-to-do-if-I-lose-my-itinerary-and-am-robbed-in-the-loo plans down solid. It’s the being there I can’t plan for. It’s the losing a bus ticket in the Netherlands or winding up east of the Urals that invokes the irrational fear of losing myself to the old country. But in the same way, isn’t that why I’m going? I really need to take a breath, order a pint, and forget myself, my fears, and my worries while I’m abroad. I need to make mistakes, make friends, and have the semester of a lifetime.

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