I was a freshman, and I had just finished my New Student Registration in the summer of 2015 when my mother and I decided to walk through the stations that advertised the different clubs, tutoring services, and other academic recourses. I was so eager to start school! It all seemed so interesting! I wanted to do it all! So, naturally, I picked up every application and pamphlet offered and left with more papers than I could carry (I made my poor mother carry the rest). Clutched in my arms were pounds upon pounds of random school information, club applications, tutoring service schedules, event calendars, maps, and everything else I could get my hands on. That mighty mass of dead trees sat in a pile in my room for months before it was gradually sorted, week by week, into more organized piles that all eventually found their way to the recycling bin. However, a few packets survived, and they were lined with information of far off universities, in countries that were rich in history and culture. In between all those lines read all the amazing things I hoped to do if I could only attend them. In short, I wanted to study abroad.
At this point, I did not care whether I was attending the University of Limerick in Ireland, the University of Dundee in Scotland, or Edge Hill University in England. These are all English speaking countries; there were no language barriers to limit my choosing. I had not yet declared a major; there were no course paths to influence my decision. My freedom to choose was a wide open road: teeming with uncertainties and the fears and hopes that adhere to them. All I had to do was make it happen.
A little bit of research led me to the woman who led the development of the university partnerships, Dr. Amy Juhala. Throughout several meetings, she and I discussed the different universities and the benefits, costs, dorms, and courses offered by each of them to figure out which one was right for me. I ended up choosing Edge Hill University because it was a little bit more affordable than the others, and it had the largest variety of courses, which was perfect for someone who did not know what they wanted to do with their life.
But since the moment I first knew I wanted to go abroad, nearly a year ago, a lot has happened. I now know that I want to be an environmental studies major, and I question if I chose the right international school. However, I am only 12 days, 11 hours, and 26 minutes from my departure to this school, there is not enough time to worry about something so little when I am about to embark upon the adventure of a lifetime. Perhaps some things about it will not be exactly perfect, but I know that they will be amazing, and that they will be at Edge Hill University, in England.