Friday, 30 December 2011

Introducing Cassie Gutman

8 December 2011

One month.

Actually, less than a month. Less than a month from this moment, I will be on a plane, going to Harlaxton. I am literally living out my childhood dreams of living in England and going to Hogwarts (it's a little later than I originally thought, since I expected my letter on my 11th birthday, but I'm finally getting to go to England).

It hasn't really hit me that I'm leaving yet, and as finals week officially strikes tomorrow, I'm going to be focusing on how to survive the rest of this semester. But the thought that I'm leaving is always in the back of my mind, making it difficult to focus anymo
re on classes here. My mind is constantly making lists of things I need to do and things I've already done, and I just pray that I don't forget anything.

Flight ticket? Check.
Passport and all kinds of weird immigration forms? Check.
Tons of new winter clothes? Check.

And I keep wondering about little things. I think my brain doesn't want to focus on the fact that I will literally be out of the country for four months. I keep wondering about how inconvenient doing laundry is going to be, or how I'll live without a diet cherry coke in the morning, or how wet my feet will get since I decided not to bring my rain boots because they'll simply take up too much packing space.

But I'm also equally excited for the little things. I can't wait for hot tea-drinking to be the norm. I'm thrilled that dressing up is acceptable for no reason whatsoever because I hate wearing jeans. And I'm hoping that if I'm there long enough, I'll develop a really lovely accent that overpowers my Floyds Knobs, Indiana one. And as a former soccer player and current soccer fan, I am beyond ecstatic to be going to a country that actually cares about the sport. I also keep hoping that Harlaxton will look like this when I arrive. I fear I will be disappointed when it's about 20 degrees and misting a light, yet still freezing rain. But I can hope, right?

The packing, though, I haven't given much thought to. I imagine I'll wait until the last day to pack (though I'll have sworn to my mother that I start weeks in advance), and I'll probably regret waiting until the last minute to try and cram as much as I can possibly fit into my suitcases as physically possible (even using vacuum space bags).

But mostly, I keep thinking about how this upcoming semester is going to be the greatest so far in my life. I already know it, and I haven't even gone. I keep calming myself down because I don't want to expect too much and then be disappointed, but so far, I've failed at remaining calm. And the closer January 5 gets (my official flight date), the more unbearable my excited-ness becomes. Sometimes I literally hyperventilate from anticipation. My mom always told me when I was a little kid that I needed to be excited on the inside. She still tells me that. Well, for Harlaxton, it's not working. I cannot contain the enthusiasm I feel for being so fortunate as to be able to spend an entire SEMESTER studying abroad at a fantastic manor and being able to travel across Europe.

This is literally the adventure I've been waiting for my whole life. And it hasn't even begun yet.


  1. Today it's drizzling at Harlaxton; there's no sign of snow I'm afraid but a good chance of wet feet.
    Diet Cheery Coke is available, although you'll have to get supplies in if you want it in the morning.
    Soccer (football please) is very popular (although rugby is better).
    Tea is, by definition, hot.
    Laundry is, by definition, awkward.

  2. I like the idea of cheery coke!