While studying abroad is something that I really wanted to do for so long, the more time I spent at Mudd, the more I wavered. Mudd was, in a way, my safe haven, and there was so much that I could be doing on campus during the semester that I miss: classes only available every other year, the seniors I wouldn’t be able to see again, all the different activities that I was a part of, the friends I wouldn’t be seeing and the memories they would be making without me.
A big one for me was just missing out on the community and of course summer internship opportunities. Going abroad meant that I wouldn’t have the full summer to do any summer research, job or internship. I’ve always had this notion that the summer after junior year was super critical. While not a big reason for not studying abroad, knowing that it would be extremely hard to find things to do over the summer did deter me a little bit.
It was interesting because everyone I knew who went abroad always said to just go and that I wouldn’t regret it. Yet, I still had this fear. What if Korea wasn’t like what I expected it to be, what if I didn’t do well, what if it caused me not to graduate, what if I didn’t get into the program, what if I didn’t learn the things I needed to learn, what if it caused me to fall behind… What about the memories I could be making at Mudd, what about the classes I could be taking, what happens if I come back and I can’t relate to the friends I left, or I don’t understand their inside jokes and feel left out.
In the back of my mind, I knew that a lot of these fears didn’t make sense: I was going to graduate, I would be able to relate to friends, I’d find something or other to do over the summer. I also knew, that a lot of these fears were just bouts of self-doubt: why wouldn’t I get into the program, why woulldn’t I do well? If I tried them I could do it, if I didn’t learn the things I needed, I could probably find the time to learn or go to office hours, it’s not like I’m alone. My friends are not just going to leave me like that, I should know better than that.
I know that some of these fears and worries stemmed from things that happened in the past, but I think for me, I got over a lot of the fears by not imagining what could be, either if I did go or if I didn’t. Even though a lot of people thought I was definitely going to go, it wasn’t until I got the call that it finally hit me, and boy was I esctatic. Though even now, I feel like I’m not ready and that I can’t believe it’s happening. I guess it won’t be until I actually get to Korea that things will truly hit home.